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Is the Eldest Son Different? The Residential Choice of Siblings in Japan

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  • Midori Wakabayashi
  • Charles Yuji Horioka

Abstract

In this paper, we analyze the determinants of the living arrangements of elderly parents and their children (whether elderly parents live with their children, and if so, with which child) in Japan using micro data from a household survey. We find that the proportion of elderly parents living with their eldest sons is much higher than that of elderly parents living with children other than the eldest son, even if the eldest son is not the eldest child. Moreover, we find that elderly parents are more likely to live with their eldest sons if the father was a self-employed worker before retirement, whereas they are more likely to live with a child other than the eldest son if the father was an executive before retirement. In addition, daughters whose husbands adopt the daughter's surname are more likely to live with the daughter's parents. All of these findings are consistent with the dynasty and/or strategic bequest (selfish life cycle) models. We also find that the living arrangements of elderly parents are still very much based on Japanese social norms and traditions. Thus, we find support for all models of household behavior other than the altruism model.

Suggested Citation

  • Midori Wakabayashi & Charles Yuji Horioka, 2006. "Is the Eldest Son Different? The Residential Choice of Siblings in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0674, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  • Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0674
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Masahiro Hori & Nahoko Mitsuyama & Satoshi Shimizutani, 2016. "New Evidence on Intra-Household Allocation of Resources in Japanese Households," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 67(1), pages 77-95, March.
    2. Meliyanni Johar & Shiko Maruyama & Sayaka Nakamura, 2015. "Reciprocity in the Formation of Intergenerational Coresidence," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 192-209, June.
    3. Ziegler Andreas, 2010. "Z-Tests in Multinomial Probit Models under Simulated Maximum Likelihood Estimation: Some Small Sample Properties," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 230(5), pages 630-652, October.
    4. Yin, Ting, 2010. "Parent-child co-residence and bequest motives in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 521-531, December.
    5. Horioka, Charles Yuji, 2009. "Do bequests increase or decrease wealth inequalities?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 23-25, April.
    6. James Raymo & Yanfei Zhou, 2012. "Living Arrangements and the Well-Being of Single Mothers in Japan," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 31(5), pages 727-749, October.
    7. Pestieau, Pierre & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2016. "Long-term care and births timing," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 340-357.
    8. Francisca M. Antman, 2012. "Elderly Care and Intrafamily Resource Allocation when Children Migrate," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(2), pages 331-363.
    9. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2016. "Are the Japanese Unique? Evidence from Household Saving and Bequest Behavior," ISER Discussion Paper 0973, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    10. Charles Yuji Horioka & Emin Gahramanov & Aziz Hayat & Xueli Tang, 2016. "Why Do Children Take Care of Their Elderly Parents? Are the Japanese Any Different?," ISER Discussion Paper 0970, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    11. Kureishi, Wataru & Wakabayashi, Midori, 2010. "Why do first-born children live together with parents?," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 159-172, August.
    12. Mizuki Komura & Hikaru Ogawa, 2017. "The prodigal son: does the younger brother always care for his parentsin old age?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(22), pages 2153-2165, May.
    13. Wei-hsin Yu & Kuo-hsien Su & Chi-Tsun Chiu, 2012. "Sibship Characteristics and Transition to First Marriage in Taiwan: Explaining Gender Asymmetries," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 31(4), pages 609-636, August.
    14. Francisca Antman, 2007. "Who Cares for the Elderly? Intrafamily Resource Allocation and Migration in Mexico," Discussion Papers 06-031, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    15. Tien Manh Vu & Hisakazu Matsushige, 2016. "Gender, Sibling Order, and Differences in the Quantity and Quality of Education: Evidence from Japanese Twins," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 147-170, June.

    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
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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