Events and Activities
Are the elderly a cost factor for society or its safety net? A comparison of family regimes and National Transfer Accounts data in Germany and Japan
Various works have argued that ageing societies’ increasing dependency ratios provoke generational conflict over scarce financial resources. In post-industrial economies, younger cohorts face disadvantages in the labour market and regarding the generosity of the welfare state compared to previous generations. However, there has also been the tendency to alleviate these imbalances through informal inter-generational family transfers. Comparing Japan and Germany – two of the fastest aging societies worldwide – this presentation investigates whether and to what extent the family can serve as a bulwark against potential generational conflict.
With regard to demographic and household-financial dynamics and policy responses, the presentation will compare differences in the capacity of families to serve as an inter-generational safety net.
Population ageing tends to increase the share of financially dependent members in a given society, which is why it is often assumed to be a trigger for generational conflict. The data on this question paint an ambivalent picture. On the one hand, in many post-industrial economies, today’s younger birth cohorts are put at a disadvantage in the labour market and also in terms of public sector spending compared to older cohorts. On the other hand, there is a tendency of private transfers inside the family to flow downwards – from old to young. It appears that a potential generational conflict in the public domain (welfare state, labour market) is at least partly balanced in the family domain. To what extent this is the case will be analysed by using data from National Transfer Accounts, an internationally harmonized macro-level database of financial intergenerational transfers.
Naohiro Ogawa is a population economist who specializes in studying the effects of demographic change on economic growth and social security systems.
Gerhard Naegele has been a professor of gerontology at the Technical University of Dortmund, Institute of Gerontology since 1992.
Mitglied des Deutschen Bundestages
Direktor des DIJ
Deutschland und Japan verfolgen eine sehr unterschiedliche Haushaltspolitik. Deutschland setzt auf Konsolidierung. Der Staat unterliegt neben den im Stabilitätspakt von Maastricht definierten Verschuldungsobergrenzen auch einer verfassungsrechtlichen „Schuldenbremse, die einen in der Regel ausgeglichenen Haushalt vorsieht.
Japan, das inzwischen gemessen an der Schuldenquote zu den am höchsten verschuldeten OECD Ländern gehört, räumt einem ausgeglichenen Staatshaushalt dagegen keine besondere politische Priorität ein.
Book Launch: Social Inequality in Post-Growth Japan Transformation during Economic and Demographic Stagnation
Mercator Professor in Social Science of Japan, University of Zurich
Associate Professor of Sociology, Hokkaido University
Professor of Sociology, The University of Tokyo
In recent decades Japan has changed from a strongly growing, economically successful country regarded as prime example of social equality and inclusion to a country with a stagnating economy, a shrinking population and a very high proportion of elderly people. New forms of inequality have been emerging and deepening, and a new perception of Japan as “gap society” (kakusa shakai) has become commonly acknowledged.
The book provides a comprehensive overview of inequality in contemporary Japan. It examines inequality in labor and employment, welfare and family, education and social mobility, in the urban-rural divide, and with regard to immigration, ethnic minorities and gender.
Ōkawa Shūmei is generally known for his involvement in the Japanese right-wing movement that led to his arrest after the “Incident of May 15” in 1932. Ōkawas activities after his release from prison in 1937 until his indictment as a war criminal in 1946 have not been explored widely.
Ōkawa was a prolific writer who covered diverse topics, including religion, Asianism, the Indian independence movement, colonial history, Japanese history and the “Japanese spirit”. This talk will summarize Ōkawas life, his thinking and his actions against the background of his times. In this context it will also explore the Japanese ideological concept of the “national essence” (kokutai), the tensions between collectivism and statism (kokka shugi) vs. individualism, and political utopianism in the Japanese far right before 1945.
The paper argues that Japan’s legislators should use this window of opportunity to introduce 100% de jure reserve requirements for transfer deposits.
Such a move would not only take advantage of the benefits propagated by supporters of a reserve-backed regime. The implied BoJ’s balance sheet expansion would allow the Bank to further purchase JGBs. As the expansion would be permanent, the regime shift would not only stabilize the government’s fiscal condition, the BoJ, too, would no longer have to worry about exiting its policy of quantitative easing. Both the government and the central bank could focus on their primary policy goals.
Das DIJ Tokyo wünscht ein erfolgreiches,
glückliches und vor allem friedliches Jahr
The Max Weber Foundation represented by the German Institute for Japanese Studies and the Departments of Geography and Southeast Asian Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore, are seeking to appoint two postdoctoral fellows for the newly established research group on “Borders, Mobility and New Infrastructures“.
For more details please refer to:
(Click on the link that says: “Job opportunity: Two Postdoctoral Fellowship Positions in Borders, Mobility and New Infrastructures, deadline 31 January 2017”)
For a direct link click here. (PDF, 29KB)