The Response of Household Saving to the Large Shock of German Reunification
AbstractGerman reunification was a large, unexpected shock for East Germans. Exploiting German reunification as a natural experiment, I analyze the validity of the life-cycle consumption model. I derive three stylized features concerning the saving behavior of East versus West Germans after reunification: (i) East Germans have higher saving rates than West Germans; (ii) this East-West gap is increasing in age at reunification; and (iii) for every cohort, this gap is declining over time. I show that a comprehensive life-cycle model can replicate these features. The precautionary saving motive is essential for the success of the model. (JEL D14, D91, E21)
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.
Volume (Year): 98 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
- D91 - Microeconomics - - Intertemporal Choice - - - Intertemporal Household Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
- E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
- R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
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