Unexpected corporate outcomes to hedge fund activism in Japan

Change log
Buchanan, J 
Chai, DH 
Deakin, SF 

Hedge fund activism has been identified in the USA as a driver of enduring corporate governance change and market perception. We investigate this claim in an empirical study to see whether activism produced similar results in Japan in four representative areas: management effectiveness, managerial decisions, labour management, and market perception. Experience from the USA would predict positive changes at Japanese target companies in these four areas. However, analysis of financial data shows that no enduring changes were apparent in the first three areas, and that market perception was consistently unfavourable. Our findings demonstrate that the same pressures need not produce the same results in different markets. Moreover, while the effects of the global financial crisis should not be ignored, we conclude that the country-level differences in corporate governance identified in the varieties of capitalism literature are robust, at least in the short term.

38 Economics, 3801 Applied Economics, 3802 Econometrics, 3803 Economic Theory
Journal Title
Socio Economic Review
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Economic and Social Research Council (ES/J012491/1)
We also gratefully acknowledge funding from the ESRC’s Rising Powers and Interdependent Futures Research Programme, Project ‘Law, Development and Finance in Rising Powers’, Grant No. ES/J012491/1, and the Omron Fund at Doshisha University, Kyoto.