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The impact of retirement on household consumption in Japan


  • Stephens, Melvin
  • Unayama, Takashi


Using monthly data from the Japanese Family Income and Expenditure Survey, we examine the impact of retirement on household consumption. We find little evidence of an immediate change in consumption at retirement, on average, in Japan. However, we find a decrease in consumption at retirement for low income households that is concentrated in food and work-related consumption. The availability of substantial retirement bonuses to a large share of Japanese retirees may help smooth consumption at retirement. We find that those households that are more likely to receive such bonuses experience a short-run consumption increase at retirement. However, among households that are less likely to receive a retirement bonus, we find that consumption decreases at retirement.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephens, Melvin & Unayama, Takashi, 2012. "The impact of retirement on household consumption in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 62-83.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jjieco:v:26:y:2012:i:1:p:62-83 DOI: 10.1016/j.jjie.2011.08.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. Toshiyuki Uemura & Yoshimi Adachi & Tomoki Kitamura, 2017. "Effects of Individual Resident Tax on the Consumption of Near-Retired Households in Japan," Discussion Paper Series 161, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised May 2017.
    3. Melvin Stephens Jr & Takashi Unayama, 2015. "Child Benefit Payments and Household Wealth Accumulation," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 447-465, December.
    4. Shunji Tada & Koyo Miyoshi, 2015. "Verifying household incomes in Japanese statistics," Public Policy Review, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance Japan, vol. 11(4), pages 531-546, September.

    More about this item


    Retirement; Household consumption; Life cycle/permanent income hypothesis; Retirement bonus;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth


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