Population Aging and Corporate Asymmetric Cost Behavior: Evidence from China

Dr. Qingbo YUAN, Senior Lecturer, The University of Melbourne



Date: 7 September 2022 (Wednesday)
Time: 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Venue: Online via Zoom
Host: Prof. Feng TANG, Assistant Professor of Accounting
Online registration:  https://umac.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_b9POqtqbmmKxhZk
Zoom Link: https://umac.zoom.us/j/99212939883?pwd=aW9PZld6TjFub0dlWlcycDQzalllUT09
Password: 07092022


Population aging is expected to slow a country’s economic growth. However, what impact this unprecedented demographic change will have on firm-level operations and cost management is rarely explored. This paper examines and presents evidence for the effect of population aging on corporate asymmetric cost behavior. We find that firms located in areas with more aged people have stickier costs. The results are robust to a series of tests addressing possible endogeneity issues. We further find that the impact of population aging on cost stickiness is more pronounced in firms with higher labor intensity, non-SOEs, and industries with more intense competition. Finally, we identify two ways population aging affects cost stickiness: the labor adjustment and asset substitution channels. Overall, our findings shed new light on the regional demographic characteristics’ role in corporate operations and cost management behavior.


Dr. Qingbo YUAN is the Senior Lecturer (with tenure) in The University of Melbourne. He received his Ph.D from The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2008. His research areas are Corporate Governance, Corporate Finance, Accounting Quality, Corporate Disclosure, and International Accounting. His works have appeared in major journals including the Journal of Business, Finance and Accounting, Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Accounting, Auditing, Finance and Journal of Corporate Finance and serval other journals. 

All are welcome!