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The Response of Household Expenditure to Anticipated Income Changes: Bonus Payments and the Seasonality of Consumption in Japan

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Author Info

  • Hori Masahiro

    ()
    (Cabinet Office, Japanese Government)

  • Shimizutani Satoshi

    ()
    (Institute for International Policy Studies)

Abstract

This paper exploits a notable institutional feature of salary payments in Japan, the bonus system, to examine whether households smooth consumption under large and regular income changes. Using high quality household-level data from the Japanese Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES), our statistical tests show that the consumption seasonality of bonus receiving households is significantly affected by the bonus payments. Although our estimate of the marginal propensity to consume from bonus income is much smaller than that from smaller and less predictable end-of-year tax refunds, it is positive and significantly different from zero, which contrasts to earlier studies on large and regular income changes.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 9 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (August)
Pages: 1-22

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:9:y:2009:i:1:n:34

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Cited by:
  1. Hori, Masahiro & Shimizutani, Satoshi, 2011. "Do Households Smooth Expenditure over Anticipated Income Changes? Evidence from Bonus Payments to Public Employees in Japan," CIS Discussion paper series 532, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  2. Melvin Stephens & Takashi Unayama, 2011. "The Consumption Response to Seasonal Income: Evidence from Japanese Public Pension Benefits," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 86-118, October.

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