ARIGA Kenn (Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University) ／KAMBAYASHI Ryo (Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University)
We use the result from a survey of Japanese firms in manufacturing and services to investigate the choice of wage and employment adjustments when they needed to reduce substantially the total labor cost. Our regression analysis indicates that the large size reduction favors the layoffs of core employees, whereas base wage cuts are more likely if firms do not feel immediate pressures from the external labor market or strong competition in the product market. We also find some evidence that the concerns over adverse selection or demoralizing effects of wage cuts are real. Firms do try to avoid using base wage cuts if they consider these factors more important.