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Acquisitions, productivity, and profitability : Evidence from the Japanese cotton spinning industry

Author

Listed:
  • Serguey Braguinsky

    () (Carnegie Mellon University)

  • Atsushi Ohyama

    () (Hokkaido University)

  • Tetsuji Okazaki

    () (University of Tokyo)

  • Chad Syverson

    () (University of Chicago Booth School of Business and NBER)

Abstract

We explore how changes in ownership and managerial control affect the productivity and profitability of producers. Using detailed operational, financial, and ownership data from the Japanese cotton spinning industry at the turn of the last century, we find a more nuanced picture than the straightforward “higher productivity buys lower productivity” story commonly appealed to in the literature. Acquired firms’ production facilities were not on average less physically productive than the plants of the acquiring firms before acquisition, conditional on operating. They were much less profitable, however, due to consistently higher inventory levels and lower capacity utilization—differences that reflected problems in managing the uncertainties of demand. When purchased by more profitable firms, these less profitable acquired plants saw drops in inventories and gains in capacity utilization that raised both their productivity and profitability levels, consistent with acquiring owner/managers spreading their better demand management abilities across the acquired capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Serguey Braguinsky & Atsushi Ohyama & Tetsuji Okazaki & Chad Syverson, 2014. "Acquisitions, productivity, and profitability : Evidence from the Japanese cotton spinning industry," Working Paper Research 270, National Bank of Belgium.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:201410-270
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    11. Vojislav Maksimovic, 2001. "The Market for Corporate Assets: Who Engages in Mergers and Asset Sales and Are There Efficiency Gains?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2019-2065, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bruce A. Blonigen & Justin R. Pierce, 2016. "Evidence for the Effects of Mergers on Market Power and Efficiency," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2016-082, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. John P. Tang, 2016. "A tale of two SICs: Japanese and American industrialisation in historical perspective," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 56(2), pages 174-197, July.
    3. Kun Li, 2016. "Privatization, Distortions, and Productivity," 2016 Meeting Papers 993, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Ashish Arora & Michelle Gittelman & Sarah Kaplan & John Lynch & Will Mitchell & Nicolaj Siggelkow & Serguey Braguinsky & David A. Hounshell, 2016. "History and nanoeconomics in strategy and industry evolution research: Lessons from the Meiji-Era Japanese cotton spinning industry," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(1), pages 45-65, January.
    5. Breinlich, Holger & Nocke, Volker & Schutz, Nicolas, 2015. "Merger policy in a quantitative model of internationaltrade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 64983, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Kancs, d’Artis & Siliverstovs, Boriss, 2016. "R&D and non-linear productivity growth," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 634-646.
    7. Stiebale, Joel & Wößner, Nicole, 2017. "M&As, investment and financing constraints," DICE Discussion Papers 257, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    8. Fukao, Kyoji & Paul, Saumik, 2017. "The Role of Structural Transformation in Regional Convergence in Japan: 1874-2008," Discussion Paper Series 665, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    9. Stiebale, Joel, 2016. "Cross-border M&As and innovative activity of acquiring and target firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 1-15.
    10. Serguey Braguinsky, 2015. "Knowledge diffusion and industry growth: the case of Japan’s early cotton spinning industry," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(4), pages 769-790.
    11. MORIKAWA Masayuki, 2017. "Dispersion and Volatility of TFPQ in Service Industries," Discussion papers 17088, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    12. Robert Kulick, 2017. "Ready-to-Mix: Horizontal Mergers, Prices, and Productivity," Working Papers 17-38, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    13. Stiebale, Joel & Vencappa, Dev, 2016. "Acquisitions, markups, efficiency, and product quality: Evidence from India," DICE Discussion Papers 229, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    14. Emmanuel Dhyne & Catherine Fuss, 2014. "Main lessons of the NBB’s 2014 conference “Total factor productivity : measurement, determinants and effects”," Economic Review, National Bank of Belgium, issue iii, pages 63-76, December.
    15. MORIKAWA Masayuki, 2017. "Impact of Foreign Tourists on Productivity in the Accommodation Industry: A panel data analysis," Discussion papers 17106, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    16. repec:nbb:ecrart:y:2014:m:december:i:iii:p:69-82 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Lutz, Benjamin Johannes, 2016. "Emissions trading and productivity: Firm-level evidence from German manufacturing," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-067, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L66 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Food; Beverages; Cosmetics; Tobacco
    • N65 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - Asia including Middle East

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