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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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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Charles Yuji Horioka & Junmin Wan, 2006. "The Determinants of Household Saving in China: A Dynamic Panel Analysis of Provincial Data," NBER Working Papers 12723, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Meng, Xin, 2003. "Unemployment, consumption smoothing, and precautionary saving in urban China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 465-485, September.
  11. "Aso, Yoshibumi" & "He, Lixin", 2001. "Public Pensions and Household Wealth," Economic Review, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 52(4), pages 348-358, January.
  12. 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).
  13. Diamond, P. A. & Hausman, J. A., 1984. "Individual retirement and savings behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 81-114.
  14. 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.
  15. Lixin He, 2008. "The distributional effects of public pension reform in urban China," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 255-276, June.
  16. 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.
  17. Mervyn A. King & Louis Dicks-Mireaux, 1982. "Asset Holdings and the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 0614, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Lixin He & Hiroshi Sato, 2013. "Income Redistribution In Urban China By Social Security System—An Empirical Analysis Based On Annual And Lifetime Income," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(2), pages 314-331, 04.
  2. Richard Herd, 2013. "The evolution of China’s social policies," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 109-141, March.
  3. 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).

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