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Is the eldest son different? The residential choice of siblings in Japan

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  • Wakabayashi, Midori
  • Horioka, Charles Yuji

Abstract

In this paper, we analyze the determinants of the living arrangements (coresidence behavior) 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. Our results provide support for all four explanations of coresidence behavior but especially for the life cycle and dynasty models (both of which assume selfishly motivated parents) and social norms and traditions: the fact that parents who were self-employed before retirement are more likely to live with their children, the fact that parents are less likely to live with sons who adopt their wife's surname, and the fact that parents are more likely to live with daughters whose husbands adopt their surname constitute evidence in favor of the dynasty model. The fact that parents who were (relatively wealthy) executives before retirement and parents who are homeowners are more likely to live with their children and the fact that parents are more likely to live with less educated children constitute evidence in favor of the selfish life cycle model (or the altruism model). And the fact that parental attitudes toward their children affect their coresidence behavior, the fact that parents are more likely to live with their eldest child if their eldest child is a son, and the fact that parents are most likely to live with their eldest son even if he is not the eldest child constitute evidence in favor of social norms and traditions.

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  • Wakabayashi, Midori & Horioka, Charles Yuji, 2009. "Is the eldest son different? The residential choice of siblings in Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 337-348, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:japwor:v:21:y:2009:i:4:p:337-348
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    2. Fujimoto, Junichi & Meng, Xiangcai, 2019. "Curse or blessing: Investigating the education and income of firstborns and only boys," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 1-1.
    3. Jaqueline Oliveira, 2019. "Birth order and the gender gap in educational attainment," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 775-803, September.
    4. Horioka, Charles Yuji, 2020. "Does the Selfish Life-Cycle Model Apply in the Case of Japan?," AGI Working Paper Series 2020-04, Asian Growth Research Institute.
    5. Meliyanni Johar & Shiko Maruyama & Sayaka Nakamura, 2015. "Reciprocity in the Formation of Intergenerational Coresidence," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 192-209, June.
    6. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2021. "Is the selfish life-cycle model more applicable in Japan and, if so, why? A literature survey," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 157-187, March.
    7. Ziegler Andreas, 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), De Gruyter, vol. 230(5), pages 630-652, October.
    8. Yin, Ting, 2010. "Parent-child co-residence and bequest motives in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 521-531, December.
    9. Horioka, Charles Yuji, 2009. "Do bequests increase or decrease wealth inequalities?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 23-25, April.
    10. Pestieau, Pierre & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2016. "Long-term care and births timing," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 340-357.
    11. Christine Ho, 2019. "Child’s gender, parental monetary investments and care of elderly parents in China," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 741-774, September.
    12. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2019. "Are The Japanese Unique? Evidence From Saving And Bequest Behavior," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 64(01), pages 5-22, March.
    13. James Raymo & Yanfei Zhou, 2012. "Living Arrangements and the Well-Being of Single Mothers in Japan," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 31(5), pages 727-749, October.
    14. Francisca M. Antman, 2012. "Elderly Care and Intrafamily Resource Allocation when Children Migrate," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(2), pages 331-363.
    15. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2016. "Are the Japanese Unique? Evidence from Household Saving and Bequest Behavior," ISER Discussion Paper 0973, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    16. Charles Yuji Horioka & Emin Gahramanov & Aziz Hayat & Xueli Tang, 2018. "Why Do Children Take Care Of Their Elderly Parents? Are The Japanese Any Different?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 59(1), pages 113-136, February.
    17. 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.
    18. Mizuki Komura & Hikaru Ogawa, 2017. "The prodigal son: does the younger brother always care for his parentsin old age?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(22), pages 2153-2165, May.
    19. 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;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 31(4), pages 609-636, August.
    20. 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.
    21. Tien Manh Vu & Hisakazu Matsushige, 2016. "Gender, Sibling Order, and Differences in the Quantity and Quality of Education: Evidence from Japanese Twins," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 147-170, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Aged Altruism model Bequest motive Bequests Care of the elderly Children Consumer economics Coresidence Culture Dynasty model Economics of the elderly Elderly Eldest son Family business Family economics Family line Household behavior Japan Life cycle model Living arrangements Parents Primogeniture Residential choice Selfish life cycle model Siblings Social norms Strategic bequest motive Traditions;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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