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Did Japan's shopping coupon program increase spending?

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  • Hsieh, Chang-Tai
  • Shimizutani, Satoshi
  • Hori, Masahiro

Abstract

In March 1999, 31Â million "shopping coupons" worth 20,000Â yen each were distributed to Japanese families with children and to the elderly. The coupons expired after six months and could only be used within the recipient's local community. We use variation in the number of children across families and in the number of recipients across prefectures to measure the effect of the coupons on spending. We find that coupons had a positive effect on spending on semi-durables, but no effect on spending on nondurables or services. The marginal propensity to consume on semi-durables was 0.1-0.2 when the coupons were distributed in March. The results using regional variation provide stronger evidence that spending did not fall after the coupons had been redeemed.

Suggested Citation

  • Hsieh, Chang-Tai & Shimizutani, Satoshi & Hori, Masahiro, 2010. "Did Japan's shopping coupon program increase spending?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(7-8), pages 523-529, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:94:y:2010:i:7-8:p:523-529
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Orazio P. Attanasio & Guglielmo Weber, 2010. "Consumption and Saving: Models of Intertemporal Allocation and Their Implications for Public Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(3), pages 693-751, September.
    2. Christiaensen , Luc & Pan, Lei, 2012. "On the fungibility of spending and earnings -- evidence from rural China and Tanzania," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6298, The World Bank.
    3. Masahiro Hori & Nahoko Mitsuyama & Satoshi Shimizutani, 2016. "New Evidence on Intra-Household Allocation of Resources in Japanese Households," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 67(1), pages 77-95, March.
    4. Satoshi Shimizutani, 2017. "College tuition payment and household consumption in Japan," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 265-285, March.
    5. Hori Masahiro & Shimizutani Satoshi, 2009. "The Response of Household Expenditure to Anticipated Income Changes: Bonus Payments and the Seasonality of Consumption in Japan," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-22, August.
    6. Luc Christiaensen & Lei Pan, 2010. "Transfers and Development: Easy Come, Easy Go?," WIDER Working Paper Series 125, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    7. Kamhon Kan & Shin-Kun Peng & Ping Wang, 2017. "Understanding Consumption Behavior: Evidence from Consumers' Reaction to Shopping Vouchers," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 137-153, February.

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