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A Test of the Full Insurance Hypothesis: The Case of Japan

  • Kohara, Miki
  • Ohtake, Fumio
  • Saito, Makoto

Exploiting the panel data structure of the Family Income and Expenditure Survey, compiled from 1989 to 1997 by the Japanese Bureau of Statistics, this paper explores how effectively idiosyncratic shocks are shared among consumers in Japan. Tests are conducted for the total consumption, together with each category of consumption expenditures. In addition, the empirical analysis of the paper accounts for the disaster shock caused by the Hyogo Earthquake that took place in January 1995. While the overall empirical results indicate that the full insurance hypothesis is strongly rejected, they suggest that idiosyncratic shocks are insured at least partially. With respect to the effect of the earthquake shock, the residents in the earthquake area indeed bore more shocks than those in other regions. The paper also points out that the extent of risk-sharing among households in Japan is fairly similar to that in the US.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of the Japanese and International Economies.

Volume (Year): 16 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 335-352

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jjieco:v:16:y:2002:i:3:p:335-352
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622903

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  1. Masao Ogaki & Qiang Zhang, 2000. "Decreasing Relative Risk Aversion and Tests of Risk Sharing," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1588, Econometric Society.
  2. Mace, Barbara J, 1991. "Full Insurance in the Presence of Aggregate Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 928-56, October.
  3. Hayashi, Fumio, 1985. "The Permanent Income Hypothesis and Consumption Durability: Analysis Based on Japanese Panel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1083-1113, November.
  4. Atkeson, Andrew & Ogaki, Masao, 1996. "Wealth-varying intertemporal elasticities of substitution: Evidence from panel and aggregate data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 507-534, December.
  5. Orazio Attanasio & Steven J. Davis, 1994. "Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption," NBER Working Papers 4771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Townsend, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-91, May.
  7. Nelson, Julie A, 1994. "On Testing for Full Insurance Using Consumer Expenditure Survey Data: Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 384-94, April.
  8. Rubinstein, Mark, 1974. "An aggregation theorem for securities markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 225-244, September.
  9. Constantinides,George & Duffie,Darrel, 1992. "Asset pricing with heterogeneous consumers," Discussion Paper Serie A 381, University of Bonn, Germany.
  10. Cochrane, John H, 1991. "A Simple Test of Consumption Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 957-76, October.
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