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Acquisitions, Productivity, and Profitability: Evidence from the Japanese Cotton Spinning Industry

Author

Listed:
  • Tetsuji Okazaki

    (University of Tokyo)

  • Chad Syverson

    (University of Chicago Booth School of Business and NBER)

  • Atsushi Ohyama

    (Hokkaido University)

  • Serguey Braguinsky

    (Carnegie Mellon University)

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 which 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

  • Tetsuji Okazaki & Chad Syverson & Atsushi Ohyama & Serguey Braguinsky, 2014. "Acquisitions, Productivity, and Profitability: Evidence from the Japanese Cotton Spinning Industry," 2014 Meeting Papers 177, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed014:177
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • L6 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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