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Policy Uncertainty and Household Savings

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  • Francesco Giavazzi

    (IGIER (Universitá Bocconi), MIT, CEPR, and NBER)

  • Michael McMahon

    (University of Warwick, and Centre for Economic Performance (LSE))

Abstract

Using German microdata and a quasi-natural experiment, we provide evidence on how households respond to an increase in uncertainty. We find that household saving increases significantly following the increase in political uncertainty observed in the run-up to the 1998 German general election. We also find evidence of a labor supply response by workers who can use the margin offered by part-time employment. Our results are suggestive of the economic effects of “wars of attrition”: when political disagreement leads to delays in adopting a reform or the possibility that earlier reforms may be revoked, the increased uncertainty could slow the economy. © 2012 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 94 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 517-531

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:94:y:2012:i:2:p:517-531

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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Related research

Keywords: household savings; policy uncertainty; labour supply; "wars of attrition";

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Cited by:
  1. Marcus Klemm, 2012. "Job Security and Fertility: Evidence from German Reunification," Ruhr Economic Papers 0379, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  2. Ashoka Mody & Franziska Ohnsorge & Damiano Sandri, 2012. "Precautionary Savings in the Great Recession," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 60(1), pages 114-138, April.
  3. Marcus Klemm, 2012. "Job Security Perceptions and the Saving Behavior of German Households," Ruhr Economic Papers 0380, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

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