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A Survey of Household Saving Behavior in Japan

  • Charles Yuji Horioka

This paper presents data on Japan's household saving rate, considers the reasons for Japan's high household saving rate in the past and the reasons for the recent decline therein, projects future trends in Japan's household saving rate, and consider the implications of my findings. It finds that Japan's high household saving rate was a temporary phenomenon and that it was high in both absolute and relative terms during the 1955-95 period (especially during the 1960s and 1970s) but that it was not unusually high during the prewar and early postwar periods or after 1995; second, that Japan's temporarily high household saving rate was due not to culture but to temporary economic, demographic, and institutional factors; third, that the decline in Japan's household saving rate since the mid-1970s is due to the weakening of these factors and that Japan's household saving rate can be expected to decline even further as these factors become even less applicable and that the rapid aging of Japan's population has played the most important role; and fourth, that there is nothing to worry about even if Japan's household saving rate falls to zero or even negative levels.

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File URL: http://www.iser.osaka-u.ac.jp/library/dp/2007/DP0684.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University in its series ISER Discussion Paper with number 0684.

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Date of creation: Mar 2007
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Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0684
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  1. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2001. "Are the Japanese Selfish, Altruistic, or Dynastic?," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-134, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  2. Horioka, C.Y., 1993. "Is Japan's Household Saving Rate Really High?," ISER Discussion Paper 0308, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  3. Horioka, Charles Yuji, 1990. "Why is Japan's household saving rate so high? A literature survey," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 49-92, March.
  4. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2006. "Do the Elderly Dissave in Japan?," Chapters, in: Long-run Growth and Short-run Stabilization, chapter 5 Edward Elgar.
  5. Horioka, C.Y., 1989. "The Determinants Of Japan'S Saving Rate: The Impact Of The Age Structure Of The Population And Other Factors," ISER Discussion Paper 0189, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  6. Horioka, Charles Yuji, 1992. "Future trends in Japan's saving rate and the implications thereof for Japan's external imbalance," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 307-330, April.
  7. 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.
  8. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2004. "Are the Japanese Unique? An Analysis of Consumption and Saving Behavior in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0606, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
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