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The Consequences of Short-Time Compensation: Evidence from Japan

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  • KATO Takao
  • KODAMA Naomi

Abstract

We apply the Propensity Score Matching (PSM) with difference-in-differences methodology to unique data on STC from Japan, a country known for its extensive use of STC, and find the first rigorous evidence on the positive consequence of STC for firm performance measured by ROA and profit margin. Consistent with the observed positive consequences of STC for firm profitability, we further find that STC leads to sales growth without raising labor costs. We then assess the validity of four possible explanations for the positive consequence of STC on firm performance. Compared to the conventional explanations (preserving firm-specific human capital and avoiding the negative morale effect of layoffs), our additional evidence lends more credence to a behavioral explanation--worksharing which STC promotes can introduce what the psychological literature calls "shared adversity" which facilitates supportive interactions among workers in the firm and strengthens commitment of workers to the firm, and thereby enhances goal alignment between workers and the firm as well as between coworkers, resulting in enhanced firm performance.

Suggested Citation

  • KATO Takao & KODAMA Naomi, 2019. "The Consequences of Short-Time Compensation: Evidence from Japan," Discussion papers 19056, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  • Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:19056
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    File URL: https://www.rieti.go.jp/jp/publications/dp/19e056.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Russell Cooper, 2017. "The Employment and Output Effects of Short-Time Work in Germany," 2017 Meeting Papers 613, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Pierre Cahuc & Francis Kramarz & Sandra Nevoux, 2018. "When Short-Time Work Works," Working papers 692, Banque de France.
    3. Balleer, Almut & Gehrke, Britta & Lechthaler, Wolfgang & Merkl, Christian, 2016. "Does short-time work save jobs? A business cycle analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 99-122.
    4. Karl BRENKE & Ulf RINNE & Klaus F. ZIMMERMANN, 2013. "Short-time work: The German answer to the Great Recession," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 152(2), pages 287-305, June.
    5. Masahiro Abe & Takeo Hoshi, 2004. "Corporate Finance and Human Resource Management," Discussion papers 04027, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    6. Tito Boeri & Herbert Bruecker, 2011. "Short‐time work benefits revisited: some lessons from the Great Recession," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 26(68), pages 697-765, October.
    7. MORIKAWA Masayuki, 2014. "Innovation in the Service Sector and the Role of Patents and Trade Secrets," Discussion papers 14030, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    8. Fabio R Arico & Ulrike Stein, 2012. "Was Short-Time Work a Miracle Cure During the Great Recession? The Case of Germany and Italy," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 54(2), pages 275-297, June.
    9. Ulf Rinne & Klaus Zimmermann, 2012. "Another economic miracle? The German labor market and the Great Recession," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-21, December.
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    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies

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