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Cyclical behavior of firm-level volatility: An explanation for the contrast between the United States and Japan

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  • Oikawa, Koki

Abstract

This study examines the cyclical behaviors of firm-level volatility, measured by real sales growth. Japanese firm-level data show that their volatility is countercyclical, whereas it is procyclical among the United States firms reported in a previous study. We formulate a theoretical model that accounts for these opposing behaviors over the business cycles. The key driving factor behind the relationship is the bankruptcy cost structure, more specifically, the relative magnitude of the fixed and marginal costs of bankruptcy. The fixed bankruptcy cost operates as an entry barrier and the marginal bankruptcy cost operates as an additional cost of hiring. These distinct impacts affect the type of firms entering/exiting the market over the business cycle. We also examine the welfare and policy implications of the model by comparing the structures of bankruptcy costs in terms of efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Oikawa, Koki, 2013. "Cyclical behavior of firm-level volatility: An explanation for the contrast between the United States and Japan," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 38(PB), pages 452-464.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:38:y:2013:i:pb:p:452-464 DOI: 10.1016/j.jmacro.2013.06.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Paula Garda & Volker Ziemann, 2014. "Economic Policies and Microeconomic Stability: A Literature Review and Some Empirics," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1115, OECD Publishing.
    2. MORIKAWA Masayuki, 2017. "Dispersion and Volatility of TFPQ in Service Industries," Discussion papers 17088, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Firm-level volatility; Medium-term business cycle; Bankruptcy cost; Entrepreneur;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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