Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 443–461 | Cite as

What makes people anxious about life after the age of 65? Evidence from international survey research in Japan, the United States, China, and India



This study investigated the causes of people’s anxieties about life after the age of 65 years, using household data from countries with different social contexts: Japan, the United States, China, and India. This research added contextual aspects to the literature on social security and precautionary savings. An ordered probit model was used to establish the causes of anxiety and a generalized structural equation model was used to check the robustness of the results. This study uncovered three major findings. First, anxiety levels about life at an older age partly depend on people’s views of the future. Second, high financial status lessens people’s anxiety levels only if prices are stable. Third, living with a child, contrary to expectations, does not necessarily lessen people’s concerns about life after 65.


Aging policy Social security Future concern Precautionary saving Comparative studies 

JEL Classification

E21 H53 I38 



This research used micro data from the Preference Parameters Study of Osaka University’s 21st Century COE Program ‘Behavioral Macrodynamics Based on Surveys and Experiments’ and its Global COE project ‘Human Behavior and Socioeconomic Dynamics’. I acknowledge the program/project’s contributors: Yoshiro Tsutsui, Fumio Ohtake, and Shinsuke Ikeda. This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 15K17075. I thank Charles Yuji Horioka, Midori Wakabayashi, Wataru Kureishi, Shizuka Sekita, Keisuke Kawata, Eiji Mangyo, Sayaka Namamura, and Mostafa Khan for their valuable comments.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

This author declares that he has no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of EconomicsNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan

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