IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/kob/dpaper/dp2016-10.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Asset Impairment Accounting Decisions and Employee Downsizing in Japan

Author

Listed:
  • Keishi Fujiyama

    (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan)

Abstract

Given the long-term relationship between firms and employees, the literature suggests that managers enhance the informativeness of accounting numbers in anticipation of employee negotiations to inform their employees of the firm’s underlying economics. This study complements and extends the existing literature by investigating whether asset impairment losses play a signaling role in downsizing negotiations and whether variations in employee influence over firms lead to different impairment accounting practices. Specifically, using a large sample of Japanese firms operating in an environment where employee downsizing is difficult to implement, I find that asset impairment loss recognition mitigates the negative relationship between employee ownership and downsizing, suggesting that impairment losses signal firms’ future negative outlooks. In addition, the results suggest that impairment recognition is costly for managers and impairment losses reflect economic losses, consistent with the informative reporting hypothesis. Importantly, I also find that downsizing firms with strong employee bargaining power recognize asset impairment losses earlier around downsizing implementation than those with weak employee bargaining power, suggesting that such an accounting practice by downsizing firms with strong employee bargaining power elicits concessions from employees.

Suggested Citation

  • Keishi Fujiyama, 2016. "Asset Impairment Accounting Decisions and Employee Downsizing in Japan," Discussion Paper Series DP2016-10, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University, revised Apr 2018.
  • Handle: RePEc:kob:dpaper:dp2016-10
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.rieb.kobe-u.ac.jp/academic/ra/dp/English/DP2016-10.pdf
    File Function: Revised version, 2018
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Holthausen, Robert W., 1990. "Accounting method choice : Opportunistic behavior, efficient contracting, and information perspectives," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1-3), pages 207-218, January.
    2. DeAngelo, Harry & DeAngelo, Linda, 1991. "Union negotiations and corporate policy *1: A study of labor concessions in the domestic steel industry during the 1980s," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 3-43, November.
    3. D'Souza, Julia & Jacob, John & Ramesh, K., 2000. "The use of accounting flexibility to reduce labor renegotiation costs and manage earnings," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 187-208, October.
    4. Junya Hamaaki & Masahiro Hori & Saeko Maeda & Keiko Murata, 2012. "Changes in the Japanese Employment System in the Two Lost Decades," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 65(4), pages 810-846, October.
    5. Ono, Hiroshi, 2010. "Lifetime employment in Japan: Concepts and measurements," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 1-27, March.
    6. repec:bla:joares:v:34:y:1996:i::p:135-155 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. David A. Matsa, 2010. "Capital Structure as a Strategic Variable: Evidence from Collective Bargaining," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(3), pages 1197-1232, June.
    8. Moriguchi, Chiaki & Ono, Hiroshi, 2004. "Japanese Lifetime Employment: A Century's Perspective," EIJS Working Paper Series 205, Stockholm School of Economics, The European Institute of Japanese Studies.
    9. DeAngelo, H,, 1991. "Union Negotiation and Corporate Policy : A Study of Labor "Givebacks" in the Domestic Stel Industry During the 1980s," Papers 91-24, Southern California - School of Business Administration.
    10. Denis, David J. & Osobov, Igor, 2008. "Why do firms pay dividends? International evidence on the determinants of dividend policy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 62-82, July.
    11. Tomohiko Noda, 2013. "Determinants of the Timing of Downsizing Among Large Japanese Firms: Long-Term Employment Practices and Corporate Governance," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 363-398, September.
    12. Anne Beatty & Joseph Weber, 2006. "Accounting Discretion in Fair Value Estimates: An Examination of SFAS 142 Goodwill Impairments," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 257-288, May.
    13. Maria Paz Espinosa & Changyong Rhee, 1989. "Efficient Wage Bargaining as a Repeated Game," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(3), pages 565-588.
    14. Klasa, Sandy & Maxwell, William F. & Ortiz-Molina, Hernán, 2009. "The strategic use of corporate cash holdings in collective bargaining with labor unions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3), pages 421-442, June.
    15. Gilles Hilary, 2006. "Organized Labor and Information Asymmetry in the Financial Markets," Post-Print hal-00482326, HAL.
    16. Amon Chizema & Yoshikatsu Shinozawa, 2012. "The ‘Company with Committees’: Change or Continuity in Japanese Corporate Governance?," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 77-101, January.
    17. Kahn, Lawrence M, 1993. "Unions and Cooperative Behavior: The Effect of Discounting," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(4), pages 680-703, October.
    18. Cullinan, Charles P. & Knoblett, James A., 1994. "Unionization and accounting policy choices: An empirical examination," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 49-78.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor negotiation; Asset impairment; Employee ownership; Downsizing;

    JEL classification:

    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • J54 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Producer Cooperatives; Labor Managed Firms
    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kob:dpaper:dp2016-10. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Office of Promoting Research Collaboration, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/rikobjp.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.