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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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Bibliographic Info

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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  15. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2001. "Are the Japanese Selfish, Altruistic, or Dynastic?," ISER Discussion Paper 0556, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  16. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2009. "Do Bequests Increase or Decrease Wealth Inequalities?," ISER Discussion Paper 0729, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Ting Yin, 2009. "Parent-Child Co-residence and Bequest Motives in China," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 09-26, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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