Does Restructuring Pay in Japan? Evidence Following the Lost Decade
After a decade of sluggish economic growth in the 1990s, it remains an open question whether and how Japanese firms have restructured their operations, and whether these efforts have borne any fruit. Using a randomly selected sample of 300 firms from the Tokyo Stock Exchange, we collect all restructuring announcement in the 2001-2002 period. Our results are striking in that while we do find that firms engaging in restructurings of various sorts display improved earnings in the period following the restructuring announcement, shareholders do not appear to benefit from such tangible earnings improvements. After a decade of lost opportunities, market participants in Japan remain skeptical of the sustainability of such restructuring efforts (that is, will the firms revert to their "bad old ways" when the immediate crisis is over).
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