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Employment and Wage Adjustments at Firms under Distress in Japan: An Analysis Based upon a Survey

Author

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  • Kenn Ariga

    (Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University)

  • Ryo Kambayashi

    (Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University)

Abstract

We use the result from a survey of Japanese firms in manufacturing and service to investigate the choice of wage and employment adjustments when they needed to reduce substantially the total labor cost. Our regression analysis indicates that the large size reduction favors the layoffs of the core employees, whereas the base wage cuts are more likely if the firms do not feel immediate pressures from the external labor market or the strong competition in the product market. We also find some evidence that the concerns over adverse selection or demoralizing effects of wage cuts are real. Firms do try to avoid using base wage cuts if they consider these factors more important.

Suggested Citation

  • Kenn Ariga & Ryo Kambayashi, 2009. "Employment and Wage Adjustments at Firms under Distress in Japan: An Analysis Based upon a Survey," KIER Working Papers 668, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:kyo:wpaper:668
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    File URL: http://www.kier.kyoto-u.ac.jp/DP/DP668.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bertola, Giuseppe & Dabusinskas, Aurelijus & Hoeberichts, Marco & Izquierdo, Mario & Kwapil, Claudia & Montornès, Jeremi & Radowski, Daniel, 2012. "Price, wage and employment response to shocks: evidence from the WDN survey," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 783-791.
    2. William H. Branson & Julio J. Rotemberg, 1991. "International Adjustment with Wage Rigidity," NBER Chapters,in: International Volatility and Economic Growth: The First Ten Years of The International Seminar on Macroeconomics, pages 13-44 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Takao Kato, 2003. "The Recent Transformation of Participatory Employment Practices in Japan," NBER Chapters,in: Labor Markets and Firm Benefit Policies in Japan and the United States, pages 39-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Kimura, Takeshi & Ueda, Kazuo, 2001. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 50-67, March.
    5. Ricardo J. Caballero & Takeo Hoshi & Anil K. Kashyap, 2008. "Zombie Lending and Depressed Restructuring in Japan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1943-1977, December.
    6. Isamu Yamamoto, 2008. "Changes in Wage Adjustment, Employment Adjustment and Phillips Curve: Japan's Experience in the 1990s," Keio/Kyoto Joint Global COE Discussion Paper Series 2008-024, Keio/Kyoto Joint Global COE Program.
    7. Kuroda, Sachiko & Yamamoto, Isamu, 2005. "Wage Fluctuations in Japan after the Bursting of the Bubble Economy: Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity, Payroll, and the Unemployment Rate," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 23(2), pages 1-29, May.
    8. Kondo, Ayako, 2007. "Does the first job really matter? State dependency in employment status in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 379-402, September.
    9. Kato, Takao, 2001. "The End of Lifetime Employment in Japan?: Evidence from National Surveys and Field Research," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 489-514, December.
    10. Fumio OHTAKE, 2008. "Inequality in Japan," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 3(1), pages 87-109.
    11. Kazuo Ogawa, 2003. "Financial Distress and Employment: The Japanese Case in the 90s," NBER Working Papers 9646, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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