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Intergenerational Transfers and Asset Inequality in Japan: Empirical Evidence from New Survey Data

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  • Hamaaki, Junya
  • Hori, Masahiro
  • Murata, Keiko

Abstract

This paper tries to quantitatively examine the impact of intergenerational transfers on asset inequality among Japanese households. For that purpose, we estimate an intergenerational asset transfer function with various control variables, using a unique micro dataset taken from the “Household Survey on Family Relationships, Employment, Retirement Payments, and Intergenerational Transfers of Assets and Education,” conducted by the Economic and Social Research Institute, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan. Employing three different models - a Tobit model, an interval regression model, and an ordered probit model - to ensure that our results are independent of the specific econometric approach used, we examine whether asset transfers received are correlated with households’ financial strength. We find that higher income households are likely to receive larger asset transfers. However, the contribution of intergenerational transfers to asset inequality appears to be quantitatively limited when measuring financial strength in terms of households’ life cycle wealth.

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File URL: http://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/rs/bitstream/10086/22876/1/cis_dp544.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series CIS Discussion paper series with number 544.

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Length: 32 p.
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hit:cisdps:544

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Keywords: Intergenerational transfers; Asset inequality; Japan;

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References

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  1. Horioka, Charles Yuji, 2009. "Do bequests increase or decrease wealth inequalities?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 23-25, April.
  2. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Lawrence H. Summers, 1980. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," NBER Working Papers 0445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lundholm, Michael & Ohlsson, Henry, 1999. "Post Mortem Reputation, Compensatory Gifts and Equal Bequests," Working Paper Series 1999:3, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  4. Dekle, Robert, 1989. "The unimportance of intergenerational transfers in Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 403-413, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Kiichi Tokuoka, 2012. "Intergenerational Implications of Fiscal Consolidation in Japan," IMF Working Papers 12/197, International Monetary Fund.

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