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Multi-Product Plants and Product Switching in Japan


  • Andrew B. BERNARD
  • OKUBO Toshihiro


This paper explores the role of multi-product plants and product switching in the Japanese manufacturing sector. While a substantial body of work has explored the importance of the extensive margins of plant entry and exit in employment and output flows, only recently has research begun to examine the adjustment across products within establishments and its importance for plant and aggregate output and employment flows. Using a novel, annual plant-product dataset covering all Japanese manufacturing plants with more than four employees from 1992 to 2006, we provide the first evidence on the role of multi-product plants in the Japanese manufacturing sector and how the product mix and the plant mix have changed over time. Unlike previous studies, we are able to track annual changes in the product mix. The period covers a major decline in manufacturing activity, and we show that the mix of products and output shifted strongly toward larger multi-product plants that are part of multi-establishment manufacturing firms.

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  • Andrew B. BERNARD & OKUBO Toshihiro, 2013. "Multi-Product Plants and Product Switching in Japan," Discussion papers 13069, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  • Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:13069

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    Cited by:

    1. Robert DEKLE & KAWAKAMI Atsushi & KIYOTAKI Nobuhiro & MIYAGAWA Tsutomu, 2015. "Product Dynamics and Aggregate Shocks: Evidence from Japanese product and firm level data," Discussion papers 15137, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    2. HIGUCHI Yoshio & KIYOTA Kozo & MATSUURA Toshiyuki, 2016. "Multinationals, Intrafirm Trade, and Employment Volatility," Discussion papers 16087, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    3. NISHITATENO Shuhei, 2015. "Market Structure and Entry: Evidence from the intermediate goods market," Discussion papers 15081, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    4. Juliana Dias Alves & Mauro Sayar Ferreira, 2016. "Multiproduct firms, firm dynamics, and the productive mix of Brazilian manufacturing firms," Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG 538, Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.
    5. MORIKAWA Masayuki, 2013. "Business Restructuring of Japanese Firms: Structural changes during the "Lost Decades"," Discussion papers 13083, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

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