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

Author

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

Abstract

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]

Suggested Citation

  • C. Y. Horioka & H. Fujisaki & W. Watanabe & T. Kouno, 2000. "Are Americans More Altruistic than the Japanese? A U.S.-Japan Comparison of Saving and Bequest Motives," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 1-31.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intecj:v:14:y:2000:i:1:p:1-31
    DOI: 10.1080/10168730000000001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-1093, Nov.-Dec..
    2. 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.
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    5. 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.
    6. 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 1177-1198, December.
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    8. 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 151-182, July.
    9. Ohtake, F., 1991. "Bequest Motives of Aged Households in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0249, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    10. Horioka, Charles Yuji & Watanabe, Wako, 1997. "Why Do People Save? A Micro-Analysis of Motives for Household Saving in Japan," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(442), pages 537-552, May.
    11. 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 706-732, August.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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