The effects of Japanese social security retirement benefits on personal saving and elderly labor force behavior

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Japanese annual time-series data covering the period 1951 to 1982 reveals that changes in the program of social security retirement benefits have substantial influence on personal saving and retirement behavior. The empirical results show that social security retirement benefits depress personal saving by approximately 13,500 yen per capita in real terms from 1951 to 1982. However, declining labor force participation of the elderly (i.e., earlier retirement) stimulates personal saving by an estimate 500 yen over the same period. The study finds that the benefit effect dominates the retirement effect. The net effect is consequently a downward impact on personal saving. The parameter estimates indicate that the retirement behavior induced by social security retirement benefits tends to become more sensitive and responsive to a rise in the benefits. In addition, this study has identified a negative interdependency between the personal saving and labor retirement behaviors; that is, an individual saves more before retirement if he expects to stay a shorter time in the labor market, and vice versa. Moreover, personal saving influenced by retirement behavior tends to become less and less responsive, though the results indicate a relatively large response, and although very small, the retirement behavior gradually becomes more responsive to changes in personal saving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-363
Number of pages37
JournalJapan and The World Economy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Finance


  • Social security
  • personal saving
  • retirement behavior

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