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Measuring Changes in Firm-Level Volatility: An Application to Japan

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Abstract

This paper develops a new technique for estimating earnings and employment volatility at the firm level, and applies it to Japanese firms. Unlike earlier studies for the United States, we estimate instantaneous volatility for every year, rather than a rolling ten-year average of volatility. In addition, our technique allows us to estimate the firm-specific component of firm volatility separately, by controlling for variation in firms’ earnings and employment growth induced by aggregate and sectoral factors. We find that firm-specific sales volatility was substantially higher before the 1990 stock market crash than in the following fifteen years. The conditional variance of earnings and employment growth stayed relatively constant until the late 1990s, but increased substantially from 1999 onwards.

Suggested Citation

  • Emmanuel De Veirman & Andrew Levin, 2009. "Measuring Changes in Firm-Level Volatility: An Application to Japan," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2009/20, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  • Handle: RePEc:nzb:nzbdps:2009/20
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2007. "Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded versus Privately Held Firms," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 107-180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Comin, Diego & Mulani, Sunil, 2009. "A theory of growth and volatility at the aggregate and firm level," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1023-1042, November.
    3. John Y. Campbell & Martin Lettau & Burton G. Malkiel & Yexiao Xu, 2001. "Have Individual Stocks Become More Volatile? An Empirical Exploration of Idiosyncratic Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 1-43, February.
    4. Diego A. Comin & Thomas Philippon, 2006. "The Rise in Firm-Level Volatility: Causes and Consequences," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 167-228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Dynan, Karen E. & Elmendorf, Douglas W. & Sichel, Daniel E., 2006. "Can financial innovation help to explain the reduced volatility of economic activity?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 123-150, January.
    6. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 2004. "New lists: Fundamentals and survival rates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 229-269, August.
    7. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 159-230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Luca Gambetti & Jordi Galí, 2009. "On the Sources of the Great Moderation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 26-57, January.
    9. Olivier Blanchard & John Simon, 2001. "The Long and Large Decline in U.S. Output Volatility," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 135-174.
    10. Xavier Gabaix, 2011. "The Granular Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 733-772, May.
    11. Yasushi Hamao & Jianping Mei & Yexiao Xu, 2007. "Unique Symptoms of Japanese Stagnation: An Equity Market Perspective," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(4), pages 901-923, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Xubei Luo & Nong Zhu, 2015. "What Drives Productivity Volatility of Chinese Industrial Firms?," CIRANO Working Papers 2015s-32, CIRANO.
    2. Emmanuel De Veirman & Andrew Levin, 2018. "Cyclical Changes in Firm Volatility," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 50(2-3), pages 317-349, March.
    3. Luo, Xubei & Zhu, Nong, 2014. "What drives the volatility of firm level productivity in China ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6846, The World Bank.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity

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