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.
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However, I have not found any literature that suggests anxiety may cause people to exercise.
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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.
Conflict of interest
This author declares that he has no conflict of interest.
Appendix: Details of the data collection method
Appendix: Details of the data collection method
In the Japan study, nationwide visit-placement surveys of individuals and households were conducted from January to March 2012. The target respondents were between 20 and 69 years. Two-stage stratified random sampling was applied. First, the prefectures of Japan were divided into ten regional blocks: Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto, Koshinetsu, Hokuriku, Tokai, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Then, each of the 10 regions was sub-divided into the following four strata: government-designated major cities, cities with populations of more than 100,000, cities with populations of less than 100,000, and towns and villages. From this dataset, 2579 observations were chosen covering 40–64-year olds with no missing answers.
The United States
In the United States study, mail surveys were sent to individuals and households all over the nation, except to the states of Alaska and Hawaii, between January and March 2012. The target respondents were 18 years or older. Multi-stage sampling was applied. The population was split into 36 different sample universes based on age group, gender, and race ethnicity. From this dataset, 1190 observations were chosen. The observations covered 40–64-year olds with no missing answers.
In the China study, face-to-face interviews were conducted in six major cities—Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Wuhan, and Shenyang—from December 23, 2011 to January 21, 2012. The target respondents were adults between 20 and 70 years of age. A multi-stage sampling and allocation method was used. First, numbers of responses were predicted based on the target population in each district using the Statistical Yearbook. Then, an area in each district was selected randomly. Finally, using the Kish Grid method, individuals were chosen to be interviewed. From this dataset, 735 observations were chosen covering 40–64-year olds with no missing answers.
In the India study, face-to-face interviews were conducted in six major cities—Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Calcutta, and Hyderabad—between January and March 2012. The target respondents were adults between 20 and 69 years of age. A multi-stage sampling and allocation method was used. Each city was divided into four quadrants (north, south, west, and east) and each section was stratified into separate categories by gender, age group, and socioeconomic characteristics. Finally, the numbers of responses were set to be collected randomly within each stratum. From this dataset, 493 observations were chosen. The observations covered 40–64-year olds with no missing answers.
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Kadoya, Y. What makes people anxious about life after the age of 65? Evidence from international survey research in Japan, the United States, China, and India. Rev Econ Household 14, 443–461 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11150-015-9310-0
- Aging policy
- Social security
- Future concern
- Precautionary saving
- Comparative studies