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Postal Banking in the United States and Japan: A Comparative Analysis

Author

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  • Kuwayama, Patricia-Hagan

    (Columbia U)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the experience of the U.S. postal savings system, and compares it to Japan's experience with a view to assessing the past and potential future role of the postal savings system in Japan. It finds that demand for postal savings deposits is explained, in both countries, mainly by two variables: price (interest differentials) and confidence in private banks. Geographical accessibility in rural areas is of less, and diminishing, importance. It is argued that postal banking should be viewed as an alternative to publicly sponsored deposit insurance, as a means to ensure households' access to safe and convenient savings and payment services. Accordingly, the reforms undertaken in the next few years under the outline set out by the 1998 Basic Law on the Reform of Central Government Ministries and Agencies might best aim to restructure postal savings as a "narrow bank," whose services are priced to fully reflect costs and risks incurred.

Suggested Citation

  • Kuwayama, Patricia-Hagan, 2000. "Postal Banking in the United States and Japan: A Comparative Analysis," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 18(1), pages 73-104, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:ime:imemes:v:18:y:2000:i:1:p:73-104
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    File URL: http://www.imes.boj.or.jp/research/papers/english/me18-1-3.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Sawada, Michiru, 2013. "Measuring the effect of postal saving privatization on the Japanese banking industry: Evidence from the 2005 general election," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 967-983.
    2. Uwe Vollmer & Diemo Dietrich & Ralf bebenroth, 2009. "Behold the 'Behemoth'. The privatization of Japan Post Bank," Discussion Paper Series 236, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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