Household savings in China
AbstractThe domestic saving rate in China is the highest in the world and it surpasses the investment share in GDP, which is also very high by international standards. This excessive saving results in a large current account surplus. Understanding why the Chinese save so much is a central issue in the debate on global imbalances. The goal of our paper is to analyse empirically Chinese household saving behaviour taking into account the disparities within the country, at the provincial level and between rural and urban households. We first show that, notwithstanding the rising contribution of government and firms to national savings the real peculiarity lies with Chinese families. We move from Modigliani and Cao's (2004) attempt to explain rising personal saving in China within the life cycle hypothesis and show how a more careful analysis indicates that life-cycle determinants do not suffice, especially in the most recent period. Once we consider regional differences and distinguish urban and rural households using provincial-level data, it becomes clear that additional explanations are needed and that precautionary motives and liquidity constraints are playing an important role. Our results suggest that in order to reduce the propensity to save of Chinese households it is necessary to improve social services provision and to facilitate the access to credit.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies.
Volume (Year): 10 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (November)
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Other versions of this item:
- D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
- E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
- O18 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Understanding Chinese household savings
by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-02-16 14:53:00
- Dreger, Christian & Wang, Tongsan & Zhang, Yanqun, 2013.
"Understanding Chinese Consumption: The Impact of Hukou,"
IZA Discussion Papers
7819, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Christian Dreger & Tongsan Wang & Yanqun Zhang, 2013. "Understanding Chinese Consumption: The Impact of Hukou," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1341, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- Dreger, Christian & Wang, Tongsan & Zhang, Yanqun, 2014. "Understanding Chinese consumption: The impact of hukou," BOFIT Discussion Papers 7/2014, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
- Dreger, Christian & Wang, Tongsan & Zhang, Yanqun, 2013. "Understanding Chinese consumption: The impact of hukou," Discussion Papers 343, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
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