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Public Pension and Household Saving: Evidence from urban China

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  • Jin Feng
  • Lixin He
  • Hiroshi Sato

Abstract

We relate household saving to pension reform, to explain the high household saving rates in urban China from a new perspective. We use the exogenous-policy induced-variation in pension wealth to explicitly estimate the impact of pension wealth on household saving, and obtain a significant offset effect of pension wealth on household saving. Our estimations show that pension reform boosted the household saving rate in 1999 by about 6 percentage points for cohort aged 25-29 and by about 3 percentage points for cohort aged 50-59. Our results also indicate that declining pension wealth reduces expenditure on education and health more than on other consumption items.

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File URL: http://gcoe.ier.hit-u.ac.jp/research/discussion/2008/pdf/gd08-030.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series with number gd08-030.

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Date of creation: Feb 2009
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Handle: RePEc:hst:ghsdps:gd08-030

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Keywords: pension reform; pension wealth; household saving rate; urban China;

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References

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  1. Charles Yuji Horioka & Junmin Wan, 2007. "The Determinants of Household Saving in China: A Dynamic Panel Analysis of Provincial Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(8), pages 2077-2096, December.
  2. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1987. "Have IRAs Increased U.S. Saving?: Evidence from Consumer Expenditure Surveys," NBER Working Papers 2217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Marcos Chamon & Eswar Prasad, 2008. "Why are Saving Rates of Urban Households in China Rising?," NBER Working Papers 14546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Mervyn A. King & Louis Dicks-Mireaux, 1981. "Asset Holdings and the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 0614, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Chamon, Marcos & Liu, Kai & Prasad, Eswar, 2013. "Income uncertainty and household savings in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 164-177.
  6. Meng, Xin, 2003. "Unemployment, consumption smoothing, and precautionary saving in urban China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 465-485, September.
  7. Diamond, P. A. & Hausman, J. A., 1984. "Individual retirement and savings behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 81-114.
  8. Franco Modigliani & Shi Larry Cao, 2004. "The Chinese Saving Puzzle and the Life-Cycle Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 145-170, March.
  9. Dicks-Mireaux, Louis & King, Mervyn, 1984. "Pension wealth and household savings: Tests of robustness," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 115-139.
  10. Lixin He, 2008. "The distributional effects of public pension reform in urban China," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 255-276, June.
  11. Orazio P. Attanasio & Susann Rohwedder, 2003. "Pension Wealth and Household Saving: Evidence from Pension Reforms in the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1499-1521, December.
  12. Hubbard, R Glenn, 1986. "Pension Wealth and Individual Saving: Some New Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 18(2), pages 167-78, May.
  13. King, M A & Dicks-Mireaux, L-D L, 1982. "Asset Holdings and the Life-Cycle," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(366), pages 247-67, June.
  14. Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1979. "Testing the Theory of Social Security and Life Cycle Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 396-410, June.
  15. Bottazzi, Renata & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2006. "Retirement expectations, pension reforms, and their impact on private wealth accumulation," CFS Working Paper Series 2006/10, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  16. William G. Gale, 1998. "The Effects of Pensions on Household Wealth: A Reevaluation of Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 706-723, August.
  17. "Aso, Yoshibumi" & "He, Lixin", 2001. "Public Pensions and Household Wealth," Economic Review, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 52(4), pages 348-358, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Thomas Gries & Ha van Dung, 2014. "Household Savings and Productive Capital Formation in Rural Vietnam: Insurance vs. Social Network," Working Papers CIE 81, University of Paderborn, CIE Center for International Economics.
  2. Bénassy-Quéré, Agnès & Carton, Benjamin & Gauvin, Ludovic, 2013. "China and global rebalancing: A two-country approach," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 118-139.
  3. Kai Liu & Marcos Chamon & Eswar Prasad, 2010. "Income Uncertainty and Household Savings in China," IMF Working Papers 10/289, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Lixin He & Hiroshi Sato, 2011. "Income Redistribution in Urban China by Social Security System: An Empirical Analysis Based on Annual and Lifetime Income," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd11-193, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  5. Mu, Ren & Du, Yang, 2012. "Pension Coverage for Parents and Educational Investment in Children: Evidence from Urban China," IZA Discussion Papers 6797, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Richard Herd, 2013. "The evolution of China’s social policies," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 109-141, March.

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