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Japanese Consumers' Demand for Cash Value Life Insurance: A Case of Mistaken Identity


  • Nat Pope


Statistics provided by official government and industry sources suggest that, with respect to the choice between various forms of life insurance, Japanese consumers display a strong preference for cash value varieties. The implication is that Japanese consumers seek to secure both death and maturity benefits when purchasing life insurance-i.e., they view life insurance as a savings vehicle. This conclusion has significance not only with respect to life insurance consumption but to broader savings behavior as well. This paper disputes these conclusions, however, and illustrates how problematic data collection and presentation methods contribute to a flawed understanding of Japanese life insurance consumption habits. The paper goes on to present an alternative profile of life insurance consumption that incorporates expert opinion. This latter profile suggests that Japanese consumers actually have very limited demand for cash value forms of life insurance-contradicting official data sources.

Suggested Citation

  • Nat Pope, 2002. "Japanese Consumers' Demand for Cash Value Life Insurance: A Case of Mistaken Identity," Journal of Insurance Issues, Western Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 25(1), pages 85-91.
  • Handle: RePEc:wri:journl:v:25:y:2002:i:1:p:85-91

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