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The wealth decumulation behavior of the retired elderly in Japan: The relative importance of precautionary saving and bequest motives

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  • Niimi, Yoko
  • Horioka, Charles Yuji

Abstract

This paper analyzes the determinants of the wealth decumulation behavior of the retired elderly in Japan using unique information from two household surveys, and by so doing, attempts to assess the relative importance of precautionary saving and bequest motives in explaining the lower than expected rates of wealth decumulation of the retired elderly. Taken together, our analyses of these two datasets show that precautionary saving plays a relatively important role in explaining the lower than expected wealth decumulation rate of the retired elderly, at least in the case of Japan, even though both precautionary saving and bequest motives are important drivers behind this puzzle. Our results also suggest the possibility that the financial burden of parental care may also affect the wealth decumulation behavior of the retired elderly in Japan. Given that parental care responsibilities tend to arise relatively late in life, often after retirement, in the case of Japan, our results suggest that the financial burden of parental care may be a relevant issue when analyzing the wealth decumulation behavior of the elderly.

Suggested Citation

  • Niimi, Yoko & Horioka, Charles Yuji, 2019. "The wealth decumulation behavior of the retired elderly in Japan: The relative importance of precautionary saving and bequest motives," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 52-63.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jjieco:v:51:y:2019:i:c:p:52-63
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jjie.2018.10.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Charles Yuji Horioka & Luigi Ventura, 2024. "Do the Retired Elderly in Europe Decumulate Their Wealth? The Importance of Bequest Motives, Precautionary Saving, Public Pensions, and Homeownership," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 70(1), pages 187-212, March.
    2. Luigi Ventura & Charles Yuji Horioka, 2020. "The wealth decumulation behavior of the retired elderly in Italy: the importance of bequest motives and precautionary saving," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 575-597, September.
    3. Bande, Roberto & Riveiro, Dolores & Ruiz, Freddy, 2021. "Does Uncertainty Affect Saving Decisions of Colombian Households? Evidence on Precautionary Saving," MPRA Paper 106771, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Horioka, Charles Yuji & Gahramanov, Emin & Hayat, Aziz & Tang, Xueli, 2021. "The impact of bequest motives on labor supply and retirement behavior in Japan: A theoretical and empirical analysis," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    5. Yuji Horioka, Charles & Niimi, Yoko, 2019. "Household Debt and Aging in Japan," AGI Working Paper Series 2019-12, Asian Growth Research Institute.
    6. Noviarini, Jelita & Coleman, Andrew & Roberts, Helen & Whiting, Rosalind H., 2023. "Financial literacy and retirees' resource allocation decisions in New Zealand," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    7. 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.
    8. Fukuda, Shin-ichi & Okumura, Koki, 2021. "The aging society, savings rates, and regional flow of funds in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    9. 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.
    10. Wei Han & Ping Wang & Hongjie Dong, 2020. "Influence of Egoistic and Altruistic Bequest Motives on the Willingness to Participate in Reverse Mortgages in China," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 430-463, December.
    11. Bonekamp, Johan & van Soest, Arthur, 2022. "Evidence of behavioural life-cycle features in spending patterns after retirement," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 23(C).
    12. Kim, Chul Ju (ed.), 2019. "Aging Societies: Policies and Perspectives," ADBI Books, Asian Development Bank Institute, number 9, Décembre.
    13. Yuji Horioka, Charles & Gahramanov, Emin & Hayat, Aziz & Tang, Xueli, 2019. "The Impact of Bequest Motives on Retirement Behavior in Japan: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," AGI Working Paper Series 2019-14, Asian Growth Research Institute.
    14. Butt, Adam & Khemka, Gaurav & Warren, Geoffrey J., 2022. "Heterogeneity in optimal investment and drawdown strategies in retirement," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    15. Alexander Krenek & Margit Schratzenstaller & Klaus Grünberger & Andreas Thiemann, 2022. "INTAXMOD – Inheritance and Gift Taxation in the Context of Ageing," WIFO Working Papers 645, WIFO.
    16. Yoko Mimura, 2021. "Associations Between Financial Transfer from Grandparents and Family Expenditures for Children’s Precollege Education in Japan," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 715-728, December.
    17. Margit Schratzenstaller, 2023. "Behavioral Responses to Inheritance Taxation. A Review of the Empirical Literature," WIFO Working Papers 668, WIFO.
    18. Päivi Kankaanranta, 2019. "A Cohort-Analysis of Age-Wealth Profile in Finland," Discussion Papers 130, Aboa Centre for Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bequests; Elderly; Japan; Life-cycle model; Precautionary saving; Wealth decumulation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D15 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Intertemporal Household Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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