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Is the Eldest Son Different? The Residential Choice of Siblings in Japan

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  • Midori Wakabayashi
  • Charles Yuji Horioka

Abstract

In this paper, we analyze the determinants of the living arrangements of elderly parents and their children (whether elderly parents live with their children, and if so, with which child) in Japan using micro data from a household survey. We find that the proportion of elderly parents living with their eldest sons is much higher than that of elderly parents living with children other than the eldest son, even if the eldest son is not the eldest child. Moreover, we find that elderly parents are more likely to live with their eldest sons if the father was a self-employed worker before retirement, whereas they are more likely to live with a child other than the eldest son if the father was an executive before retirement. In addition, daughters whose husbands adopt the daughter's surname are more likely to live with the daughter's parents. All of these findings are consistent with the dynasty and/or strategic bequest (selfish life cycle) models. We also find that the living arrangements of elderly parents are still very much based on Japanese social norms and traditions. Thus, we find support for all models of household behavior other than the altruism model.

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Paper provided by Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University in its series ISER Discussion Paper with number 0674.

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Date of creation: Oct 2006
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Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0674

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  1. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2002. "Are the Japanese Selfish, Altruistic or Dynastic?," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 53(1), pages 26-54.
  2. Konrad, Kai A. & Künemund, Harald & Lommerud, Kjell Erik & Robledo, Julio R., 2001. "Geography of the family," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance FS IV 01-16, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  3. Fumio Hayashi, 1995. "Is the Japanese Extended Family Altruistically Linked? A Test based on Engel Curves," NBER Working Papers 5033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Ohtake, F., 1991. "Bequest Motives of Aged Households in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0249, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  6. Ken Yamada, 2003. "Intra-family Transfers in Japan: Intergenerational Co-residence, Distance, andContact," ISER Discussion Paper 0575, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  7. Dekle, Robert, 1990. "Do the Japanese elderly reduce their total wealth? A new look with different data," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 309-317, September.
  8. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, July.
  9. C. Y. Horioka & H. Fujisaki & W. Watanabe & T. Kouno, 2000. "Are Americans More Altruistic than the Japanese? A U.S.-Japan Comparison of Saving and Bequest Motives," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 1-31.
  10. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Maxim Engers & Steven Stern, 2002. "Long-Term Care and Family Bargaining," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(1), pages 73-114, February.
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  14. Hoerger, Thomas J & Picone, Gabriel A & Sloan, Frank A, 1996. "Public Subsidies, Private Provision of Care and Living Arrangements of the Elderly," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(3), pages 428-40, August.
  15. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2001. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262232197, December.
  16. Tennille J. Checkovich & Steven Stern, 2002. "Shared Caregiving Responsibilities of Adult Siblings with Elderly Parents," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(3), pages 441-478.
  17. Hiedemann, Bridget & Stern, Steven, 1999. "Strategic play among family members when making long-term care decisions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 29-57, September.
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Cited by:
  1. James Raymo & Yanfei Zhou, 2012. "Living Arrangements and the Well-Being of Single Mothers in Japan," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 31(5), pages 727-749, October.
  2. Horioka, Charles Yuji, 2009. "Do bequests increase or decrease wealth inequalities?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 23-25, April.
  3. Francisca Antman, 2007. "Who Cares for the Elderly? Intrafamily Resource Allocation and Migration in Mexico," Discussion Papers 06-031, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  4. Yin, Ting, 2010. "Parent-child co-residence and bequest motives in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 521-531, December.
  5. Wei-hsin Yu & Kuo-hsien Su & Chi-Tsun Chiu, 2012. "Sibship Characteristics and Transition to First Marriage in Taiwan: Explaining Gender Asymmetries," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 609-636, August.
  6. Andreas Ziegler, 2010. "Z-Tests in Multinomial Probit Models under Simulated Maximum Likelihood Estimation: Some Small Sample Properties," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 230(5), pages 630-652, October.
  7. Kureishi, Wataru & Wakabayashi, Midori, 2010. "Why do first-born children live together with parents?," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 159-172, August.

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