Takeshi Osada, Kazuki Onji, David Vera
May 9, 2017
Article number: 20160059
Divergent interests of bank managers and financial regulators potentially compromise the efficacy of bank rescue operations. This study empirically investigates the agency problem encountered in a capital injection program implemented in Japan. We hypothesize that the operations requirement to reduce workforce lead banks to overstate the extent of downsizing by reassigning older workers to bank subsidiaries. We implement a difference-in-differences analysis using a panel of Japanese banks from 1990 to 2010. We also employ propensity score matching to control for sample selection bias. The result shows that injected banks exhibit workforce rejuvenation relative to non-injected banks. Among injected banks, the average employee age falls by approximately 1 year, which is equivalent to a reduction of approximately seventy 65-year-old workers. On an unconsolidated basis, the number of employees in injected banks decreases as a response to the injection. However, on a consolidated basis, which accounts for subsidiary employment, the number of employees does not decrease. Our finding suggests that the Japanese practice of lifetime employment (LTE) survived, albeit in a limited form, among restructured banks.