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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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  2. Giovanni Mastrobuoni & Matthew Weinberg, 2007. "Heterogeneity in Intra-Monthly Consumption. Patterns, Self-Control, and Savings at Retirement," CeRP Working Papers 57, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
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  7. 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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  11. 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.
  12. 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.
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  16. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Nao Sudo & Michio Suzuki & Tomoaki Yamada, 2012. "Inequalities in Japanese Economy during the Lost Decades," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-856, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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).

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