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The (Dis)saving Behavior of the Aged in Japan

  • Charles Yuji Horioka

In this paper, I survey the previous literature on the saving behavior of the aged in Japan and then present some survey data on the saving behavior of the aged in Japan that became available recently. To summarize the main findings of this paper, virtually all previous studies as well as the newly available data I analyze find that the retired aged dissave and that even the working aged dissave, at least at advanced ages. Moreover, there has been a sharp increase in the dissaving of the retired aged since 2000, with the increase being due primarily to reductions in social security benefits, increases in consumption expenditures, and increases in taxes and social insurance premiums. These findings are consistent with the life-cycle model and suggest that this model is highly applicable (and becoming increasingly applicable over time) in the case of Japan.

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Paper provided by Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University in its series ISER Discussion Paper with number 0763.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0763
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Horioka, Charles Yuji & Okui, Megumi, 1999. "A U.S.-Japan comparison of the importance and determinants of retirement saving," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 365-371, December.
  4. Charles Yuji HORIOKA & Wataru SUZUKI & Tatsuo HATTA, 2007. "Aging, Savings, and Public Pensions in Japan," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 2(2), pages 303-319.
  5. Weil, David N, 1994. "The Saving of the Elderly in Micro and Macro Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 55-81, February.
  6. Horioka, C.Y., 1991. "Saving in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0248, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  7. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2001. "Are the Japanese Selfish, Altruistic, or Dynastic?," ISER Discussion Paper 0556, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  8. 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.
  9. Fumio Hayashi, 1986. "Why Is Japan's Saving Rate So Apparently High?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 147-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Dekle, Robert, 1990. "Do the Japanese elderly reduce their total wealth? A new look with different data," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 309-317, September.
  11. Ishikawa, Tsuneo, 1988. "Saving and labor supply behavior of aged households in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 417-449, December.
  12. Horioka, Charles Yuji & Kasuga, Norihiro & Yamazaki, Katsuyo & Watanabe, Wako, 1996. "Do the Aged Dissave in Japan? Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 295-311, September.
  13. Hayashi, Fumio & Ando, Albert & Ferris, Richard, 1988. "Life cycle and bequest savings A study of Japanese and U.S. households based on data from the 1984 NSFIE and the 1983 survey of consumer finances," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 450-491, December.
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