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The Consumption Response to Seasonal Income: Evidence from Japanese Public Pension Benefits

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  • Melvin Stephens, Jr.
  • Takashi Unayama

Abstract

Japanese public pension benefits, which were distributed quarterly through February 1990 and every other month since then, induce substantial but predictable income fluctuations. The relative magnitude of the payments combined with the delay between payments yields a stronger test of the Life-Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis than in prior studies. Applying two identification strategies to monthly household panel data, we find that consumption significantly responds to quarterly benefit receipt. Additional analysis suggests that our findings cannot be explained by either liquidity constraints or precautionary savings motives.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16342.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Publication status: published as 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.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16342

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  1. Giovanni Mastrobuoni & Matthew Weinberg, 2007. "Heterogeneity in Intra-Monthly Consumption Patterns, Self-Control, and Savings at Retirement," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 36, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  2. Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2009. "The Consumption Response to Income Changes," CSEF Working Papers 237, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
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  7. Jonathan A. Parker, 1999. "The Reaction of Household Consumption to Predictable Changes in Social Security Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 959-973, September.
  8. Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley, 2001. "The lifecycle model of consumption and saving," IFS Working Papers W01/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  9. Hori Masahiro & Shimizutani Satoshi, 2009. "The Response of Household Expenditure to Anticipated Income Changes: Bonus Payments and the Seasonality of Consumption in Japan," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-22, August.
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  11. Steven Haider & Melvin Stephens Jr., 2004. "Is There a Retirement-Consumption Puzzle? Evidence Using Subjective Retirement Expectations," NBER Working Papers 10257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Martin Browning & M. Dolores Collado, 2001. "The Response of Expenditures to Anticipated Income Changes: Panel Data Estimates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 681-692, June.
  13. Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Is there a Daily Discount Rate? Evidence from the Food Stamp Nutrition Cycle," Microeconomics 0304005, EconWPA, revised 21 Apr 2003.
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  16. Parke E. Wilde & Christine K. Ranney, 2000. "The Monthly Food Stamp Cycle: Shooping Frequency and Food Intake Decisions in an Endogenous Switching Regression Framework," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(1), pages 200-213.
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Cited by:
  1. Hori, Masahiro & Shimizutani, Satoshi, 2012. "Do households smooth expenditure over anticipated income changes? Evidence from bonus payments to public employees in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 405-433.
  2. Nao Sudo & Michio Suzuki & Tomoaki Yamadai, 2012. "Inequalities in Japanese Economy during the Lost Decades," CARF F-Series CARF-F-284, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
  3. David CASHIN & UNAYAMA Takashi, 2012. "Short-run Distributional Effects of VAT Rate Change: Evidence from a consumption tax rate increase in Japan," Discussion papers 12029, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  4. David CASHIN & UNAYAMA Takashi, 2011. "The Intertemporal Substitution and Income Effects of a VAT Rate Increase: Evidence from Japan," Discussion papers 11045, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

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