IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Income Distribution of People of Retirement Age in Japan


  • Atsuhiro Yamada

    () (Keio University)


This article examines inequality and poverty among older people in Japan. It compares Japan with that of a sample of other OECD countries. Provisions within the social insurance system that enable old-age pensioners to work and draw incomes from labor explain some of the inequality and poverty that is seen in Japan. So, too, do the low rate of take up of social assistance, the low level of benefits available from the first tier pension, the uneven coverage of second-tier pensions, the lack of progressiveness of the income tax system and the fact older people live in multi-generational households whilst others live alone.

Suggested Citation

  • Atsuhiro Yamada, 2007. "Income Distribution of People of Retirement Age in Japan," Journal of Income Distribution, Journal of Income Distribution, vol. 16(3-4), pages 31-54, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:jid:journl:y:2007:v:16:i:3-4:p:31-54

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Fulltext downloads are only available to subscribers. See JID website for details.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cowell, Frank & Schluter, Christian, 1998. "Income mobility : a robust approach," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2210, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Canto, Olga, 2000. "Income Mobility in Spain: How Much Is There?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(1), pages 85-102, March.
    3. John Creedy, 1997. "Inequality, mobility and income distribution comparisons," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 18(3), pages 293-302, August.
    4. Christian Schluter & Mark Trede, 2003. "Local versus Global Assessment of Mobility," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1313-1335, November.
    5. Frank A. Cowell, 1985. "Measures of Distributional Change: An Axiomatic Approach," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(1), pages 135-151.
    6. Christian Schluter, 1998. "Income Dynamics in Germany, the USA and the UK: Evidence from Panel Data," CASE Papers case08, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    7. Philippe Van Kerm, 2004. "What Lies Behind Income Mobility? Reranking and Distributional Change in Belgium, Western Germany and the USA," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 71(281), pages 223-239, May.
    8. Aaberge, Rolf, et al, 2002. "Income Inequality and Income Mobility in the Scandinavian Countries Compared to the United States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(4), pages 443-469, December.
    9. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
    10. Gardiner, Karen & Hills, John, 1999. "Policy Implications of New Data on Income Mobility," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages 91-111, February.
    11. Mills, Jeffrey A & Zandvakili, Sourushe, 1997. "Statistical Inference via Bootstrapping for Measures of Inequality," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(2), pages 133-150, March-Apr.
    12. Mervyn A. King, 1980. "An Index of Inequality: With Applications to Horizontal Equity and Social Mobility," NBER Working Papers 0468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Peter Gottschalk & Sheldon Danziger, 1997. "Family Income Mobility -- How Much Is There and Has It Changed?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 398, Boston College Department of Economics.
    14. Markandya, Anil, 1982. "Intergenerational exchange mobility and economic welfare," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 307-324.
    15. Fields, Gary S. & Ok, Efe A., 1996. "The Meaning and Measurement of Income Mobility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 349-377, November.
    16. Shorrocks, Anthony, 1978. "Income inequality and income mobility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 376-393, December.
    17. Shorrocks, A F, 1982. "Inequality Decomposition by Factor Components," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 193-211, January.
    18. Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2004. "The measurement of structural and exchange income mobility," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 2(3), pages 219-228, September.
    19. King, Mervyn A, 1983. "An Index of Inequality: With Applications to Horizontal Equity and Social Mobility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 99-115, January.
    20. Brian Nolan & Bertrand Maitre, 1999. "The Distribution of Income and Relative Income Poverty in the European Community Household Panel," Papers WP107, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    21. Dutta, B. & Esteban, J., 1988. "Social Welfare And Equality," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 89.88, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    22. Stephen P. Jenkins, 2000. "Modelling household income dynamics," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 13(4), pages 529-567.
    23. Nolan, Brian & Whelan, Christopher T., 2011. "Poverty and Deprivation in Europe," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199588435, June.
    24. Markandya, Anil, 1984. "The Welfare Measurement of Changes in Economic Mobility," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 51(204), pages 457-471, November.
    25. Fields, Gary S & Ok, Efe A, 1999. "Measuring Movement of Incomes," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(264), pages 455-471, November.
    26. Shorrocks, A F, 1978. "The Measurement of Mobility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1013-1024, September.
    27. Jarvis, Sarah & Jenkins, Stephen P, 1998. "How Much Income Mobility Is There in Britain?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 428-443, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    inequality; poverty; public assistance; public pension; take-up rate;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jid:journl:y:2007:v:16:i:3-4:p:31-54. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Timm Boenke). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.