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Why Did ?Zombie? Firms Recover in Japan?

Author

Listed:
  • Shin-ichi Fukuda

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)

  • Jun-ichi Nakamura

    (Development Bank of Japan)

Abstract

The Japanese economy experienced prolonged recessions during the 1990s. Previous studies suggest that evergreen lending to troubled firms known as ?zombie firms? distorted market discipline in terms of stabilizing the Japanese economy and caused significant delays in the economy?s recovery. However, the eventual bankruptcy of zombies was rare. In fact, a majority of the ?zombie? firms substantially recovered during the first half of the 2000s. The purpose of this paper is to investigate why zombie firms recovered in Japan. We first extend the method of Caballero, Hoshi, and Kashyap (2008) and identify zombies from among the listed firms. Subsequently, we investigate the nature of corporate restructuring that was effective in reviving zombie firms. Our multinomial logistic regressions suggest that reducing the employee strength of zombie firms and selling its fixed assets were beneficial in facilitating their recovery. However, corporate restructuring without accounting transparency or by discouraging incentives for managers was ineffective. In addition, corporate restructuring lacked effectiveness in the absence of favorable macroeconomic environment as well as substantial external financial support.

Suggested Citation

  • Shin-ichi Fukuda & Jun-ichi Nakamura, 2010. "Why Did ?Zombie? Firms Recover in Japan?," CARF F-Series CARF-F-224, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
  • Handle: RePEc:cfi:fseres:cf224
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hyeog Ug Kwon & Futoshi Narita & Machiko Narita, 2015. "Resource Reallocation and Zombie Lending in Japan in the 1990s," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(4), pages 709-732, October.
    2. GOTO Yasuo & Scott WILBUR, 2017. "Efficiency among Japanese SMEs: In the context of the zombie firm hypothesis and firm size," Discussion papers 17123, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    3. Fabiano Schivardi & Enrico Sette & Guido Tabellini, 2017. "Credit misallocation during the European financial crisis," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1139, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    4. Fukuda, Shin-ichi & Yamada, Junji, 2011. "Stock price targeting and fiscal deficit in Japan: Why did the fiscal deficit increase during Japan’s lost decades?," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 447-464.
    5. Kentaro Imai, 2013. "A Panel Study of Zombie SMEs in Japan: Identification, Borrowing and Investment Behavior," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 13-16-Rev., Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), revised Sep 2014.
    6. Imai, Kentaro, 2016. "A panel study of zombie SMEs in Japan: Identification, borrowing and investment behavior," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 91-107.
    7. Uluc Aysun & Kiyoung Jeon & Zeynep Kabukcuoglu, 2016. "The credit channel is alive at the zero lower bound but how does it operate? Firm level evidence on the asymmetric effects of U.S. monetary policy," Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics Working Paper Series 27, Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics.
    8. Mauro Caselli & Stefano Schiavo & Lionel Nesta, 2017. "Markups and markdowns," Sciences Po publications 2017-11, Sciences Po.
    9. De Veirman, Emmanuel & Levin, Andrew T., 2012. "When did firms become more different? Time-varying firm-specific volatility in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 578-601.
    10. repec:eee:ecolet:v:160:y:2017:i:c:p:91-94 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Uchida, Hirofumi & Miyakawa, Daisuke & Hosono, Kaoru & Ono, Arito & Uchino, Taisuke & Uesugi, Iichiro, 2013. "Natural Disaster and Natural Selection," Working Paper Series 25, Center for Interfirm Network, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    12. Breton, Theodore R., 2015. "Human capital and growth in Japan: Converging to the steady state in a 1% world," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 73-89.
    13. Kentaro Imai, 2013. "A Panel Study of eZombie f SMEs in Japan: Identification, Borrowing and Investment Behavior," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 13-16, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    14. repec:eee:chieco:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:327-342 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. repec:eee:jpolmo:v:39:y:2017:i:6:p:1102-1116 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Uchida, Hirofumi & Miyakawa, Daisuke & Hosono, Kaoru & Ono, Arito & Uchino, Taisuke & Uesugi, Iichiro, 2015. "Financial shocks, bankruptcy, and natural selection," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 123-135.
    17. Kaoru Hosono & Miho Takizawa, 2012. "Do Financial Frictions Matter as a Source of Misallocation? Evidence from Japan," Discussion papers ron246, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance Japan.
    18. YASUDA, Yukihiro, 2016. "Rollover and Capital Adequacy Requirements," Working Paper Series G-1-11, Center for Financial Research, Graduate School of Commerce and Management, Hitotsubashi University.

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