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Precautionary Saving and Income Uncertainty in Germany: New Evidence from Microdata

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  • Nikolaus Bartzsch

Abstract

The saving ratio of households in Germany has increased in the past few years when the income trend was weak. This could be due to precautionary saving. In this paper, the importance of precautionary saving against income uncertainty is analyzed empirically using micro data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (GSOEP). Wealth in 2002 is regressed on alternative measures of income uncertainty in a cross-section of households. In addition to the usual controls, risk aversion is also taken into account. When using net financial wealth, precautionary saving is statistically significant and economically quite important. The share of precautionary net financial wealth in total aggregate net financial wealth is on average about 20%. Compared with net financial wealth, housing wealth is not used as a buyer stock against income uncertainty, confirming the hypothesis that this kind of asset is rather illiquid.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 21.

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Length: 43 p.
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in: Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik 228 (2008), No. 1, 5-25
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp21

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Keywords: precautionary saving; precautionary wealth; buyer-stock model;

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References

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Citations

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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. Nikolaus Bartzsch, 2006. "Vorsichtssparen und Einkommensunsicherheit privater Haushalte in Deutschland: eine ökonometrische Untersuchung auf Basis von SOEP-Daten," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 75(4), pages 109-120.
  3. Clovis Kerdrain & Isabell Koske & Isabelle Wanner, 2011. "Current Account Imbalances: can Structural Reforms Help to Reduce Them?," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2011(1), pages 1-44.
  4. Clovis Kerdrain & Isabell Koske & Isabelle Wanner, 2010. "The Impact of Structural Policies on Saving, Investment and Current Accounts," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 815, OECD Publishing.
  5. 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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