Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Income Uncertainty and Household Savings in China

Contents:

Author Info

  • Kai Liu
  • Marcos Chamon
  • Eswar Prasad

Abstract

China’s household saving rate has increased markedly since the mid-1990s and the age-savings profile has become U-shaped. We find that rising income uncertainty and pension reforms help explain both of these phenomena. Using a panel of Chinese households covering the period 1989-2006, we document that strong average income growth has been accompanied by a substantial increase in income uncertainty. Interestingly, the permanent variance of household income remains stable while it is the transitory variance that rises sharply. A calibration of a buffer-stock savings model indicates that rising savings rates among younger households are consistent with rising income uncertainty and higher saving rates among older households are consistent with a decline in the pension replacement ratio for those retiring after 1997. We conclude that rising income uncertainty and pension reforms can account for over half of the increase in the urban household savings rate in China since the mid-1990s as well as the U-shaped age-profile of savings.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.aspx?sk=24497
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 10/289.

as in new window
Length: 34
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:10/289

Contact details of provider:
Postal: International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC USA
Phone: (202) 623-7000
Fax: (202) 623-4661
Email:
Web page: http://www.imf.org/external/pubind.htm
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:
Web: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/pubs/ord_info.htm

Related research

Keywords: Pension reforms; Aging; Economic models; External shocks; Income distribution; Private savings; Wages;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Greg Kaplan & Giovanni L. Violante, 2009. "How Much Consumption Insurance Beyond Self-Insurance?," NBER Working Papers 15553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Giovanni L. Violante, 2002. "Technological Acceleration, Skill Transferability, And The Rise In Residual Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 297-338, February.
  3. Tamim Bayoumi & Hui Tong & Shang-Jin Wei, 2010. "The Chinese Corporate Savings Puzzle: A Firm-level Cross-country Perspective," NBER Working Papers 16432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Li, Hongbin & Zhu, Yi, 2006. "Income, income inequality, and health: Evidence from China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 668-693, December.
  5. Gourinchas, P.O. & Parker, J.A., 1997. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," Working papers 9722, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  6. Lin, Justin Yifu & Cai, Fang & Li, Zhou, 1998. "Competition, Policy Burdens, and State-Owned Enterprise Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 422-27, May.
  7. 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.
  8. Christopher D. Carroll, 2005. "The Method of Endogenous Gridpoints for Solving Dynamic Stochastic Optimization Problems," NBER Technical Working Papers 0309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Christopher D Carroll, 1990. "Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis," Economics Working Paper Archive 371, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Aug 1996.
  10. Lillard, Lee A & Weiss, Yoram, 1979. "Components of Variation in Panel Earnings Data: American Scientists, 1960-70," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 437-54, March.
  11. Pischke, J.S., 1994. "Measurement Error and Earnings Dynamics: Some Estimates from the PSID Validation Study," Working papers 94-01, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. Eswar S. Prasad, 2009. "Rebalancing Growth in Asia," NBER Working Papers 15169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Michael Baker & Gary Solon, 1999. "Earnings Dynamics and Inequality among Canadian Men, 1976-1992: Evidence from Longitudinal Income Tax Records," NBER Working Papers 7370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Diego Comin & Erica L. Groshen & Bess Rubin, 2006. "Turbulent firms, turbulent wages?," Staff Reports 238, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  15. Meghir, Costas & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2002. "Income Variance Dynamics and Heterogeneity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3632, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Peter Gottschalk & Robert Moffitt, 1994. "The Growth of Earnings Instability in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 217-272.
  17. Meng, Xin, 2003. "Unemployment, consumption smoothing, and precautionary saving in urban China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 465-485, September.
  18. Marcos Chamon & Eswar Prasad, 2008. "Why are Saving Rates of Urban Households in China Rising?," IMF Working Papers 08/145, International Monetary Fund.
  19. Aart Kraay, 2000. "Household Saving in China," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(3), pages 545-570, September.
  20. 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.
  21. Dwayne Benjamin & Loren Brandt & Jia-Zhueng Fan, 2003. "Ceaseless Toil? Health and Labor Supply of the Elderly in Rural China," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2003-579, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  22. Ding, Ning & Wang, Yougui, 2008. "Household income mobility in China and its decomposition," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 373-380, September.
  23. MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
  24. Fan Gang & Maria Rosa Lunati & David O’Connor, 1998. "Labour Market Aspects of State Enterprise Reform in China," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 141, OECD Publishing.
  25. Robert H. Topel & Michael P. Ward, 1988. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," NBER Working Papers 2649, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. John M. Abowd & David Card, 1986. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," NBER Working Papers 1832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Feng, Jin & He, Lixin & Sato, Hiroshi, 2009. "Public pension and household saving: Evidence from China," BOFIT Discussion Papers 2/2009, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  28. Groves, Theodore, et al, 1994. "Autonomy and Incentives in Chinese State Enterprises," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 183-209, February.
  29. Richard Blundell & Luigi Pistaferri & Ian Preston, 2008. "Consumption Inequality and Partial Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1887-1921, December.
  30. Peter Gottschalk & Robert Moffitt, 2009. "The Rising Instability of U.S. Earnings," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 3-24, Fall.
  31. Steven Vincent Dunaway & Vivek B. Arora, 2007. "Pension Reform in China: The Need for a New Approach," IMF Working Papers 07/109, International Monetary Fund.
  32. 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.
  33. Chong-En Bai & Jiangyong Lu & Zhigang Tao, 2006. "The Multitask Theory of State Enterprise Reform: Empirical Evidence from China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 353-357, May.
  34. Shang-Jin Wei & Xiaobo Zhang, 2011. "The Competitive Saving Motive: Evidence from Rising Sex Ratios and Savings Rates in China," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(3), pages 511 - 564.
  35. Kuijs, Louis, 2006. "How will China's saving-investment balance evolve ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3958, The World Bank.
  36. Richard Herd & Hu-Wei Hu & Vincent Koen, 2010. "Providing Greater Old-Age Security in China," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 750, OECD Publishing.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Guest Post: The puzzle of Chinaâ??s rising household saving rate
    by Yves Smith in Naked capitalism on 2011-01-18 07:55:54
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:10/289. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jim Beardow) or (Hassan Zaidi).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.