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The Consequences of Short-Time Compensation: Evidence from Japan

Author

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  • Kato, Takao

    () (Colgate University)

  • Kodama, Naomi

    () (Hitotsubashi University)

Abstract

There is a growing body of evidence on the efficacy of Short-Time Compensation (STC), a subsidy to promote worksharing in a recession, in achieving its intended goal of curtailing layoffs and preventing a sharp rise in unemployment. However, very little is known about the consequences of STC for firm performance. We apply the Propensity Score Matching (PSM) with difference-in-differences methodology to unique data from Japan, a country known for its extensive use, and find that STC results in improved profitability. The improved profitability is further found to be achieved through sales growth without raising labor costs. We explore possible mechanisms behind the observed positive consequences of STC for sales and profits. Additional evidence tends to favor what the psychology literature calls "shared adversity"- worksharing promoted by STC 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. Such workers are more open to the firm's effort to increase sales/revenues without raising cost.

Suggested Citation

  • Kato, Takao & Kodama, Naomi, 2019. "The Consequences of Short-Time Compensation: Evidence from Japan," IZA Discussion Papers 12596, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12596
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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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    More about this item

    Keywords

    short-time work; short-time compensation; worksharing; employment adjustment; firm performance;

    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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