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Do the Japanese elderly reduce their total wealth?

Dekle, Robert

Using previously unanalyzed Japanese household data, this paper shows that the Japanese elderly's age-wealth profile is flat; the elderly are not dissaving. Part of the reason for the lack of dissaving appears to be the bequest motive, if it can be assumed that the intensity of the bequest motive is stronger if one has more surviving children. The conclusion that the Japanese elderly are not dissaving is based on estimates of the age-wealth profile from a sample of the independent elderly -- those elderly who choose not to live with their children or other younger relatives. I perform a test of sample-selectivity bias and show that the age-wealth relation estimated from only the sample of the independent elderly is an unbiased estimate for all of the elderly.

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Academic Units
Center on Japanese Economy and Business
Publisher
Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University
Series
Center on Japanese Economy and Business Working Papers, 14
Published Here
February 7, 2011
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