HOMEPublications ≫ IER NEWSLETTER Vol. 17

IER NEWSLETTER Vol. 17 (2018/10/26) 

We are publishing to our related researchers this newsletter for the purpose of providing regular notice of the activities of the Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University. While we have provided information through the Institute’s website, we now decide to publish this newsletter as a means of communicating information actively in order to provide more timely notice of the Institute’s activities, so that readers can participate in our activities and have more accurate understandings of their content.



1. Information
2. Column:
Christopher Spencer (Senior Lecturer, Loughborough University/Visiting Professor, IER, Hitotsubashi University) “Exploring Japanese household data: Savings and health in Japan”
3. Visitors
4. Seminar Schedule
5. New Publications

     1. Information     


Oct 3, 2018
A job opening for a Non-tenure Track Assistant Professor or Research Associate of Statistics and Econometrics.  The number of positions is one.  The deadline is 30 November 2018.

     2. Column     


(Senior Lecturer, Loughborough University/Visiting Professor, IER, Hitotsubashi University)
"Exploring Japanese household data: Savings and health in Japan"
My background is as an applied economist with interests in monetary policy, financial economics, and applied econometrics. However, I have recently developed an interest in the increasingly popular area of household finance. As its name suggests, this field in concerned with investigating the determinants of financial decision-making at the household level. To address empirical research questions, researchers commonly exploit information contained in large-scale household surveys or questionnaires. In addition to reporting how individual households allocate their financial assets and wealth, such surveys typically provide detailed information relating to household members’ employment status, health, and income, as well as more basic information relating to personal characteristics such as age, gender, and marital status.
The work that I conducted during my visit to the Institute of Economic Research (IER) centred around the relationship between savings behaviour and health at the individual household level in Japan. The research – which is being undertaken with co-researchers at the University of Sheffield, UK, and Curtin University, Australia – has in part been facilitated by the increasing availability of household level survey data in Japan. As the IER’s Takashi Unayama has stressed (Unayama, 2018), recent years have witnessed a growing dependency on household surveys by academic researchers and Japanese policymakers. My joint work adds to the increasing body of academic work that exploits the rich information contained in such surveys. Specifically, we investigate how self-reported mental and physical health affects saving decisions by Japanese households.
Although it is not uncommon to find contributions in the academic literature in which poor physical health induces higher levels of safe asset holding such as precautionary savings, no previous work has been undertaken in which the impact of mental health on savings behaviour is systematically explored using Japanese household-level data. Significantly, our research indicates that poor mental health has a large, detrimental impact on the amount of savings held by Japanese households. This finding also holds when one considers the impact of mental health on the size of a household’s total financial portfolio, which includes savings plus other risky financial assets (such as shares). These findings, we suggest, may have ultimately have significant public policy implications: although mental health problems are comparatively lower in Japan than other high-income countries, so too are treatment and employment rates for individuals with mental health problems (Kasai et al. 2017).
Of course, it is not possible to discuss the above project without mention of my host institution. The IER at Hitotsubashi University is an excellent place to conduct research, and my own research has benefitted greatly from the comments and suggestions of a number of faculty members. This is not unsurprising. A sizable group of IER researchers have amassed considerable experience and expertise in analysing Japanese household-level and micro-data. For instance, Professor Yukinobu Kitamura has previously conducted important joint research into the characteristics of household saving behaviour in Japan (Kitamura and Takayama, 1994; Kitamura, Takayama, and Arita, 2001). Other IER faculty members have used household level data to explore the wider determinants of portfolio allocation, as well as conducting research into areas related to education and health. The Research Centre for Information and Statistics of Social Science (RCISS), which is attached to the IER, also forms strong foundation from which research using Japanese micro-data can be supported.
Finally, I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to all the faculty and support staff at the IER and the CEI who made me feel so welcome during my stay. Being based at the IER has helped my project to gain considerable momentum, and made a number of new research collaborations with IER staff members possible. I owe a special debt of gratitude to Professor Yukinobu Kitamura for supporting my visit and providing me with a number of opportunities to present my research findings to different audiences. I very much look forward to maintaining a productive and engaging relationship with the IER in the coming years.
Kasai, K., S. Ando, A. Kanehara, Y. Kumakura, S. Kondo, M. Fukuda, N. Kawakami, and T. Higuchi (2017). Strengthening community mental health services in Japan. The Lancet - Psychiatry 4(4), 268-270.
Kitamura, Y. and N. Takayama (1994). Household saving behavior in Japan. In J. M. Poterba (Ed.), International Comparisons of Household Saving, pp. 125-168. National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
Kitamura, Y., N. Takayama, and F. Arita (2001). Household savings in Japan revisited. Research in Economics 55(2), 135-153.
Unayama, T. (2018). Introduction to Japanese Household Surveys. Springer Briefs in Economics. Springer.

     3. Visitors     


[Visiting and Adjunct Faculties]
Makoto Watanabe(VU University Amsterdam)2018/12/10-2019/3/19
Yuta Takahashi (IER, Hitotsubashi University) 2018/9/1-2019/3/31
[Foreign Visiting Faculties]
Hitoshi Shigeoka (Simon Fraser University) 2019/1/1-2019/3/31
Harry Wu 2018/10/1-2019/3/31
Kanda Naknoi (University of Connecticut) 2018/9/25-2018/12/24

[Visiting Scholars]
Nobuaki Yamashita (RMIT University) 2018/11/26-2019/1/24
Chongwoo Choe (Monash University) 2018/11/12-2018/11/16
Sujoy Chakravarty (Jawaharlal Nehru University) 2018/11/5-2018/11/10
Pei Cheng Yu (UNSW School of Economics) 2018/10/30-2018/11/3
Hongyi Li (UNSW School of Economics) 2018/10/29-2018/11/3
Michael Waldman (Cornell University) 2018/10/29-2018/11/4
Naoki Yoshihara (University of Massachusetts Amherst) 2018/10/5-2018/11/30
Jean-Pascal Bassino (Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon) 2018/9/1-2019/8/31
Øivind Schøyen (JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowships for Research in Japan) 2018/9/1- 2020/7/31

     4. Seminar Schedule     


Oct 26, 2018 17:10-
Economic Statistics Workshop [Presentation in English/Japanese]
Toshio Honda (Hitotsubashi Univeristy) and Jiang Peiyun (Hitotsubashi University)
Jiang Peiyun (Hitotsubashi University)
Oct 30, 2018 15:30-
Michael Waldman (Cornell University)
Oct 30, 2018 17:10-
James Morley (University of Sydney)
Nov 6, 2018 10:45-
Nanami Toishi (University of Tokyo)
Nov 6, 2018 17:10-
Kanda Naknoi (University of Conneticut)
Nov 8, 2018 17:10-
ByeongHwa Choi (National Taiwan University)
Nov 9, 2018 10:45-
Sujoy Chakravarty (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Nov 11, 2018 10:30-
Nov 13, 2018 15:30-
Chongwoo Choe (Monash University)
Nov 15, 2018 17:10-
Shmule Nitzan (Bar Ilan University/Adjunct Professor at Hitotsubashi University)
Nov 16, 2018 10:45-
Oeivind Schoeyen (Hitotsubashi University)
Nov 20, 2018 17:10-
Pablo Kurlat (Stanford University)
Nov 27, 2018 17:10-
Tomohiro Hirano (University of Tokyo)
Nov 28, 2018 13:30-
Guanghua Wan (Institute of World Economy, Fudan University, the People's Republic of China)
Nov 30, 2018 10:45-
Christopher M. Meissner (University of California, Davis)
Dec 6, 2018 17:15-
James Wilcox (UC Berkeley)
Dec 7, 2018 10:45-
Yusuke Narita (Yale University)
Dec 11, 2018 17:10-
Makoto Nirei (University of Tokyo)
Dec 18, 2018 15:30-
Taisuke Nakata (Federal Reserve Board of Governors)
Dec 18, 2018 17:10-
Daisuke Fujii (The University of Tokyo)
Jan 10, 2019 17:10-
Jingyi Xue (Singapore Management University)
Jan 11, 2019 17:10-
Kota Murayama (Northwestern University)
Jan 25, 2019 10:45-
Sayaka Ogawa (Ritsumeikan University)
Feb 20, 2019 17:10-
Offer Setty (Tel Aviv University)
Apr 26, 2019 10:45-
Michele Di Maio (University of Naples Parthenope)
May 10, 2019 10:45-
Anthony Wray (University of Southern Denmark)

     5. New Publications      

IER Discussion Paper Series [2018/10/12]
Roberto Veneziani, Naoki Yoshihara
Giorgos Galanis, Roberto Veneziani, Naoki Yoshihara
Yongsheng Xu, Naoki Yoshihara
Roberto Veneziani, Naoki Yoshihara
Michele Lombardi, Naoki Yoshihara
Jonathan F. Cogliano, Roberto Veneziani, Naoki Yoshihara
Kazuhiro Kurose, Naoki Yoshihara
CEI Working Paper Series [2018/10/10]
Xinxin Ma, Jingwen Zhang
CIS Discussion Paper Series [2018/10/4]
Satoshi Yamamoto, Viktoriya Kan
CEI Working Paper Series [2018/10/1]
Ichiro Iwasaki, Satoshi Mizobata
CEI Working Paper Series [2018/8/29]
Ichiro Iwasaki, Evžen Kočenda
RRC Working Paper Series [2018/8/29]
Ichiro Iwasaki, Byung-Yeon Kim
Masahiro Tokunaga, Keiko Suganuma, Nami Odagiri
IER Discussion Paper Series [2018/8/28]
Evžen Kočenda, Ichiro Iwasaki
CEI Working Paper Series [2018/8/10]
Rashesh Shrestha, Ian Coxhead