China's high saving rate: myth and reality
AbstractThe saving rate of China is high from many perspectives - historical experience, international standards and the predictions of economic models. Furthermore, the average saving rate has been rising over time, with much of the increase taking place in the 2000s, so that the aggregate marginal propensity to save exceeds 50%. What really sets China apart from the rest of the world is that the rising aggregate saving has reflected high savings rates in all three sectors - corporate, household and government. Moreover, adjusting for inflation alters interpretations of the time path of the propensity to save in the three sectors. Our evidence casts doubt on the proposition that distortions and subsidies account for China's rising corporate profits and high saving rate. Instead, we argue that tough corporate restructuring (including pension and home ownership reforms), a marked Lewis-model transformation process (where the average wage exceeds the marginal product of labour in the subsistence sector) and rapid ageing process have all played more important roles. While such structural factors suggest that the Chinese saving rate will peak in the medium term, policies for job creation and a stronger social safety net would assist the transition to more balanced domestic demand.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Bank for International Settlements in its series BIS Working Papers with number 312.
Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2010
Date of revision:
corporate; household and government saving; Chinese economy;
Other versions of this item:
- E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
- E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
- O11 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
- O16 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
- O53 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-07-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2010-07-03 (Development)
- NEP-MAC-2010-07-03 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-TRA-2010-07-03 (Transition Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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