Takafumi  Kawakubo

Takafumi Kawakubo

PhD Candidate in Economics

Department of Economics

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English, Japanese
Key Expertise
Trade, Organizational Economics, Public Economics

About me

Takafumi is a PhD job market candidate in the Department of Economics. His research interest lies at the intersection of trade, public and organizational economics. His PhD research centres on micro-empirical analyses of firm-to-firm transactions and investigates how firms respond to supply chain disruptions.

He holds an MRes in Economics from the LSE, and both a BA and an MA in Economics from the University of Tokyo.

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Do Supply Chain Disruptions Harm Firm Performance? Evidence From Japan

Recent major supply-chain disruptions and the measures taken by firms to protect themselves against future disruptions have raised concerns over their long-term implications on firm performance. Using panel data from 2007 to 2018 on firm-to-firm relationships on the near-universe of firms in Japan, we study the effects of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake on firm performance and supplier relationships. In a difference-in-differences empirical strategy, we compare the outcomes of buyer firms outside the disaster area but with suppliers inside to buyer firms without suppliers in the disaster area. On average, treated firms managed to ``weather the storm'' -- their ability to replace lost suppliers swiftly allowed them not to be differentially hurt by the earthquake. Nonetheless, buyers in long-term relationships with suppliers in the disaster area suffered significant sales losses and struggled to replace their old suppliers. Moreover, we show that, on average, treated firms disproportionately chose new suppliers closer to their headquarters. Using seismological data, we show that this ``nearshoring'' was not due to firms' aversion to earthquake risk and suggest it could be due to treated firms putting greater weight on supply chain resiliency.

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Publications and additional papers

Working papers

Do Well Managed Firms Make Better Forecasts? (with Nick Bloom, Charlotte Meng, Paul Mizen, Rebecca Riley, Tatsuro Senga, and John Van Reenen), 2021
We link a new UK management survey covering 8,000 firms to panel data on productivity in manufacturing and services. There is a large variation in management practices, which are highly correlated with productivity, profitability and size. Uniquely, the survey collects firms’ micro forecasts of their own sales and also macro forecasts of GDP. We find that better managed firms make more accurate micro and macro forecasts, even after controlling for their size, age, industry and many other factors. We also show better managed firms appear aware that their forecasts are more accurate, with lower subjective uncertainty around central values. These stylized facts suggest that one reason for the superior performance of better managed firms is that they knowingly make more accurate forecasts, enabling them to make superior operational and strategic choices.

Do Firms Avoid Compliance Costs? Evidence from VAT Reforms in Japan (with Takafumi Suzuki)
This paper disentangles the motivations behind how enterprises respond to size-dependent tax regulations by exploiting the value-added tax (VAT) reforms in Japan. In Japan, both tax threshold and tax rate have been changed over the past three decades since the introduction of VAT. We build on the model of Harju et al. (2019) to incorporate various tax reforms and derive empirically testable implications. By using a panel of Japanese Census of Manufacture covering the periods of VAT introduction and reforms, we conducted bunching estimation. The local estimates imply that the observed output response by enterprises is mainly caused by compliance costs rather than tax rates for small enterprises in Japan. The results suggest that the authorities are encouraged to ease compliance costs while enhancing tax revenue to achieve more efficient tax design.

Theory and Evidence of Firm-to-firm Transaction Network Dynamics, (with Takafumi Suzuki)

Trade and Management: Evidence from Brexit, (with Paul Mizen, Rebecca Riley, and Greg Thwaites)


Contact information


Office Address
Department of Economics
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE