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Über dieses Buch

This volume examines the properties of statistics on household behavior in Japan. This work is an essential guide for all researchers who are interested in household decision making and the Japanese economy. Many household surveys are conducted in Japan reflecting the fact that household activities have various aspects such as income earning, timing and pattern choice of expenditure and consumption, asset portfolio choice, labor supply decision, time use, and health status. Moreover, the contents of each survey overlap in a complex manner to present a serious obstacle for potential survey users. In this book, the basic information from each survey such as sampling methods, survey techniques, and available variables is provided and then compared to check the consistency across the same variables reported in different surveys. Exploring strengths and weaknesses of each survey, this book is highly recommended to readers who seek comprehensive, up-to-date information about Japanese surveys and want to use appropriate data for their analysis.



Chapter 1. System of Japanese Household Surveys

This chapter gives a comprehensive introduction to Japanese household surveys. Household surveys play an important role not only for academic research, but also for policy making. Macro data, or National Accounts, are not sufficient to fully understand the state of the economy because they tell us little about heterogeneity among economic agents, which is critical information for policy makers in an aging society like Japan. Given the importance of Japan’s myriad household surveys in documenting heterogeneity in the behavior of Japanese households, systematic knowledge is needed to appropriately employ this micro-data. This chapter brings an outline of the system of Japan’s nine household surveys. Their coverage, sampling design, and available information are explored.
Takashi Unayama

Chapter 2. How Reliable Are Japanese Household Surveys?

This chapter examines the reliability of several Japanese household surveys. Reflecting the complexity of household behavior, the same information is collected across multiple surveys. Comparisons here have been made for variables associated with demographics, income, tax and social security premium, and consumption expenditures. Although all of the surveys are designed to be nationally representative, non-negligible differences have been found that cannot be explained by sampling error. I discuss the reason for the differences and conclude that detailed survey practices such as sampling procedure and form of the questionnaire does matter. In addition, to address these discrepancies, I then propose methods to mitigate the biases present in each survey.
Takashi Unayama
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