Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

EIJS Working Paper Series,
Stockholm School of Economics, The European Institute of Japanese Studies

No 136: Effect of Amakudari on Bank Performance in the Post-Bubble Period

Kenji Suzuki ()
Additional contact information
Kenji Suzuki: European Institute of Japanese Studies, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, S-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: One of the curiosities about the Japanese banking sector for Westerners is the close connection between banks and the financial authority, namely Ministry of Finance (MoF). One of the important sources of this connection is the practice called amakudari. Amakudari symbolizes the practice under which retired government officials "descend from their heaven" to be employed in the private sector. The practice has long been carried out in the banking sector, as well as other industrial sectors in Japan. Previous studies, particularily Horiuchi and Shimizu (2001), examined the effect of the close connection between banks and the financial authority in Japan, so-called amakudari. However, their observation did not cover the "post-bubble" period in which one may expect some changes. The present study re-examines this amakudari practice adopting the latest data, redesigning and developing the previous model. It found that the overall effect of amakudari was reduced through the 1990's, but this is just because of the reduction of amakudari appointments. In fact, the gap between the banks with amakudari and the others became wider in recent years.

Keywords: amakudari; financial supervision; Japan; incentives of regulator; post-bubble

JEL-codes: G21; G28

17 pages, November 1, 2001

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