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Why Do Children Take Care of Their Elderly Parents? Are the Japanese Any Different?

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  • Charles Yuji Horioka
  • Emin Gahramanov
  • Aziz Hayat
  • Xueli Tang

Abstract

In this paper, we conduct a theoretical analysis of why individuals provide care and attention to their elderly parents using a two-period overlapping generations model with endogenous saving and a “contest success function” and test this model using micro data from a Japanese household survey, the Osaka University Preference Parameter Study. To summarize our main findings, we find that the Japanese are more likely to live with (or near) their elderly parents and/or to provide care and attention to them if they expect to receive a bequest from them, which constitutes strong support for the selfish bequest motive or the exchange motive (much stronger than in the United States), but we find that their caregiving behavior is also heavily influenced by the strength of their altruism toward their parents and social norms.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0970
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    File URL: http://www.iser.osaka-u.ac.jp/library/dp/2016/DP0970.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. HAMAAKI Junya & HORI Masahiro & MURATA Keiko, 2016. "The Intra-Family Division of Bequests and Bequest Motives: Empirical Evidence from a Survey on Japanese Households," ESRI Discussion paper series 333, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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