Monetary and Economic Studies Vol.10, No.2 / November 1992

Explaining Japan's Saving: A Review of Recent Literature

Fumio Hayashi

This paper reviews recent literature on Japan's saving and identifies the following as key stylized facts: Japan's national saving rate is not as high as commonly supposed, though it was indeed quite high during the high growth era; at the micro level, the accumulation of wealth by Japanese households starts very early in the life-cycle but is not fully consumed but left as bequests; some, but not all, of bequests can be interpreted as late payments to children who provided non-market services to parents; and available evidence does not reject the notion that the bulk of intergenerational transfers are altruistically motivated.

Views expressed in the paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Bank of Japan or Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies.

Copyright © 1992 Bank of Japan All Rights Reserved.

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