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

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.

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File URL: http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/research_and_publications/discussion_papers/2009/dp09_20.pdf
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Paper provided by Reserve Bank of New Zealand in its series Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series with number DP2009/20.

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Length: 28 p
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nzb:nzbdps:2009/20
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  1. Diego Comin & Sunil Mulani, 2007. "A theory of growth and volatility at the aggregate and firm level," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  2. Malkiel, Burton & Campbell, John & Lettau, Martin & Xu, Yexiao, 2001. "Have Individual Stocks Become More Volatile? An Empirical Exploration of Idiosyncratic Risk," Scholarly Articles 3128707, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Karen E. Dynan & Douglas W. Elmendorf & Daniel E. Sichel, 2005. "Can financial innovation help to explain the reduced volatility of economic activity?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-54, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Gabriel Perez-Quiros & Margaret M. McConnell, 2000. "Output Fluctuations in the United States: What Has Changed since the Early 1980's?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1464-1476, December.
  5. Galí, Jordi & Gambetti, Luca, 2008. "On the Sources of the Great Moderation," CEPR Discussion Papers 6632, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2006. "Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded versus Privately Held Firms," NBER Working Papers 12354, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Diego Comin & Thomas Philippon, 2005. "The Rise in Firm-Level Volatility: Causes and Consequences," NBER Working Papers 11388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2002. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Working Papers 9127, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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, 2009. "The Granular Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 15286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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, 06.
  12. 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.
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