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Can Social Security Boost Domestic Consumption in the People’s Republic of China?

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  • Wang Dewen

    (Asian Development Bank Institute)

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    Abstract

    This paper reviews the development of the social security system and trends in the urban labor market in the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). Despite its remarkable economic achievement, the PRC faces a difficult path before it can reform and improve its social security system and provide basic support for all of its people. The unemployment shock has caused rural and urban household income to decrease and has thus slowed down household consumption growth. The provision of broader social security would not only mitigate unemployment shocks in the short term, but it would also guarantee individuals and households more security for spending that could reduce the high savings rate and help achieve a balanced growth path in the long run. The authors findings argue that households with social security coverage spend more and income distribution among urban households is improved through public transfers.

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    File URL: http://saber.eaber.org/node/21881
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by East Asian Bureau of Economic Research in its series Microeconomics Working Papers with number 21881.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:eab:microe:21881

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    Related research

    Keywords: People's Republic of China; social security; unemployment shock; savings rate;

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    1. Stark, Oded & Taylor, J Edward & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1986. "Remittances and Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(383), pages 722-40, September.
    2. Meng, Xin, 2003. "Unemployment, consumption smoothing, and precautionary saving in urban China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 465-485, September.
    3. Krueger, Alan B. & Meyer, Bruce D., 2002. "Labor supply effects of social insurance," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 33, pages 2327-2392 Elsevier.
    4. John Giles & Kyeongwon Yoo, 2007. "Precautionary Behavior, Migrant Networks, and Household Consumption Decisions: An Empirical Analysis Using Household Panel Data from Rural China," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 534-551, August.
    5. Shorrocks, A F, 1982. "Inequality Decomposition by Factor Components," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 193-211, January.
    6. Marcos D. Chamon & Eswar S. Prasad, 2010. "Why Are Saving Rates of Urban Households in China Rising?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 93-130, January.
    7. Cullen, Julie Berry & Gruber, Jonathan, 2000. "Does Unemployment Insurance Crowd Out Spousal Labor Supply?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 546-72, July.
    8. Lerman, Robert I & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1985. "Income Inequality Effects by Income," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 151-56, February.
    9. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi, 2006. "Rebalancing Growth in China: A Three-Handed Approach," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 14(4), pages 1-20.
    10. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1994. "Do Pensions Increase the Labor Supply of Older Men?," NBER Working Papers 4925, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Schmidt-Hebbel, K. & Serven, L., 1997. "Saving Across the World: Puzzles and Policies," World Bank - Discussion Papers 354, World Bank.
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