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An Empirical Analysis of the Saving Behavior of Elderly Households in Japan

Charles Horioka () and Yoko Niimi ()

Economic Analysis, 2017, vol. 196, 31-46

Abstract: In this paper, we analyze the saving behavior of elderly households in Japan in order to shed light on the impact of population aging on the household saving rate. The data sources we use for this analysis are the“ Family Income and Expenditure Survey,” conducted by the Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, and the“ Survey on Households and Saving,” conducted by the Yu-cho Foundation. Our main findings are as follows: (1) In Japan, the saving rate of the working elderly is positive but lower than that of younger households. By contrast, the saving rate of the retired elderly is negative and high in absolute magnitude;(2) the wealth decumulation rate of the retired elderly has shown a moderate increase over time, and this is due primarily to reductions in social security benefits; and( 3) the retired elderly are decumulating their wealth but not as rapidly as predicted by the simple life cycle model, due primarily to the presence of precautionary saving and bequest motives. JEL Classification Codes: D14, D15, E21

Keywords: Elderly; Saving; Life Cycle Model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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