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Are Americans More Altruistic than the Japanese? A U.S.-Japan Comparison of Saving and Bequest Motives

  • C. Y. Horioka
  • H. Fujisaki
  • W. Watanabe
  • T. Kouno

This paper analyzes a variety of data on saving motives, bequest motives, and bequest division from a U.S.-Japan survey conducted in 1996 by the Japanese Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and finds (1) that the selfish life cycle model is the dominant model of household behavior in both countries but that in is far more applicable in Japan, (2) that the altruism model is far more applicable in the U.S. but that it is not the dominant model of household behavior in either country, and (3) that the dynasty model is more applicable in Japan but that it is of only limited applicability even in Japan. [D12, D91, E21]

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 14 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-31

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Handle: RePEc:taf:intecj:v:14:y:2000:i:1:p:1-31
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  1. Boskin, Michael J. & Kotlikoff, Laurence J., 1985. "Public debt and United States saving: A new test of the neutrality hypothesis," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 55-86, January.
  2. Horioka, C.Y. & Okui, M., 1998. "A U.S.-Japan Comparison of the Importance and Determinants of Retirement Saving," ISER Discussion Paper 0470, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  3. Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S151-82, July.
  4. Modigliani, Franco, 1988. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers and Life Cycle Saving in the Accumulation of Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 15-40, Spring.
  5. Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1988. "Intergenerational Transfers and Savings," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 41-58, Spring.
  6. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Avia Spivak, 1979. "The Family as an Incomplete Annuities Market," UCLA Economics Working Papers 151, UCLA Department of Economics.
  7. Altonji, Joseph G & Hayashi, Fumio & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1992. "Is the Extended Family Altruistically Linked? Direct Tests Using Micro Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1177-98, December.
  8. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Christopher Carroll, 2002. "'Risky Habits' and the Marginal Propensity to Consume Out Of Permanent Income," Computing in Economics and Finance 2002 42, Society for Computational Economics.
  10. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 706-32, August.
  11. Horioka, C.Y. & Watanabe, W., 1996. "Why Do People Save? A Micro-Analysis of Motives for Household Saving in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0412, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  12. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-93, Nov.-Dec..
  13. Ohtake, F., 1991. "Bequest Motives of Aged Households in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0249, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  14. Ohtake, F. & Horioka, C.Y., 1995. "Saving Motives in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0392, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
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