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Precautionary Savings and Income Uncertainty: Evidence from Japanese Micro Data

Author

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  • Murata, Keiko

    (Econ and Social Research Institute, Cabinet Office of Japan)

Abstract

This paper tests the existence of precautionary savings using subjective or self-reported measures of income uncertainty drawn from Japanese household data (primarily from those in their 30s). Two subjective measures are tested: one concerning labor earnings and the other concerning public pension benefits. The results show that, among either nuclear family households or households that do not receive income transfers from parents, there exist precautionary savings due to uncertainty concerning public pension benefits. As the respondents are primarily in their 30s, we find that those households start to save based on precautionary motives early in their lives. The finding that the effect of public pension uncertainty concerning savings is manifested in nuclear family households suggests that intergenerational risk-sharing reduces risk and therefore wealth accumulation. Precautionary savings are found to take the form of relatively low-risk assets; no precautionary savings are found in securities. No evidence has been found for precautionary savings being motivated by uncertainty over labor earnings when economic prospects are utilized as the measure of labor income uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Murata, Keiko, 2003. "Precautionary Savings and Income Uncertainty: Evidence from Japanese Micro Data," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 21(3), pages 21-52, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ime:imemes:v:21:y:2003:i:3:p:21-52
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Saito, Makoto & Shiratsuka, Shigenori, 2003. "Precautionary Motives versus Waiting Options: Evidence from Aggregate Household Saving in Japan," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 21(3), pages 1-20, October.
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    8. Zhou, Yanfei, 2003. "Precautionary saving and earnings uncertainty in Japan: A household-level analysis," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 192-212, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giavazzi, Francesco & McMahon, Michael, 2008. "Policy Uncertainty and Precautionary Savings," CEPR Discussion Papers 6766, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Bartzsch Nikolaus, 2008. "Precautionary Saving and Income Uncertainty in Germany – New Evidence from Microdata," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 228(1), pages 5-24, February.
    3. repec:cbh:journl:v:14:y:2015:i:1:p:79-110 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Iwaisako, Tokuo & Ono, Arito & Saito, Amane & Tokuda, Hidenobu, 2016. "Impact of population aging on household savings and portfolio choice in Japan," HIT-REFINED Working Paper Series 61, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    5. Essig, Lothar, 2005. "Precautionary saving and old-age provisions : do subjective saving motives measures work?," Papers 05-22, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    6. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2004. "The Stagnation of Household Consumption in Japan," CESifo Working Paper Series 1133, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Horioka, Charles Yuji, 2006. "The causes of Japan's `lost decade': The role of household consumption," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 378-400, December.
    8. Bessho, Shun-ichiro & Tobita, Eiko, 2008. "Unemployment risk and buffer-stock saving: An empirical investigation in Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 303-325, August.
    9. Essig, Lothar, 2004. "Precautionary saving and old-age provisions: Do subjective saving motives measures work?," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 05-22, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    10. Saito, Makoto & Shiratsuka, Shigenori, 2003. "Precautionary Motives versus Waiting Options: Evidence from Aggregate Household Saving in Japan," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 21(3), pages 1-20, October.
    11. Zsuzsa Kékesi & Balázs Kóczián & Balázs Sisak, 2015. "The role of household portfolio restructuring in financing of the general government," Financial and Economic Review, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary), vol. 14(1), pages 79-110.
    12. Wataru Kureishi & Midori Wakabayashi, 2013. "What motivates single women to save? the case of Japan," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 681-704, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance

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