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Household Savings in Germany

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  • Börsch-Supan, Axel
  • Reil-Held, Anette
  • Rodepeter, Ralf
  • Schnabel, Reinhold
  • Winter, Joachim

Abstract

This paper describes how German households save, and how their saving behavior is linked to public policy, notably pension policy. Our analysis is based on a synthetic panel of four cross sections of the German Income and Expenditure Survey ("Einkommens- und Verbrauchsstichproben," EVS), 1978, 1983, 1988 and 1993. The paper carefully distinguishes among several saving measures and concepts. It separates discretionary savings from mandatory savings, and uses two flow measures, namely first the sum of purchases of assets minus the sum of sales of assets, and second the residual of income minus consumption. Our main finding is a hump-shaped age-saving profile. However, savings remain positive in old age, even for most low income households. The generous mandatory German public pension system is a prime candidate to explain this pattern.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre in its series Discussion Papers with number 577.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:mnh:vpaper:1034

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  1. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Reil-Held, Anette & Rodepeter, Ralf & Schnabel, Reinhold & Winter, Joachim, 1999. "Ersparnisbildung in Deutschland: Meßkonzepte und Ergebnisse auf Basis der EVS," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 99-02, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  2. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Reil-Held, Anette & Schnabel, Reinhold, 1998. "Pension Provision in Germany," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 98-07, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  3. Borsch-Supan, Axel, 1992. "Saving and Consumption Patterns of the Elderly: The German Case," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 289-303.
  4. Walliser, Jan & Winter, Joachim, 1998. "Tax incentives, bequest motives and the demand for life insurance: evidence from Germany," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 99-28, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  5. Fachinger, Uwe, 1998. "Die Verteilung der Vermögen privater Haushalte: Einige konzeptionelle Anmerkungen sowie empirische Befunde für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland," Working papers of the ZeS 13/1998, University of Bremen, Centre for Social Policy Research (ZeS).
  6. James M. Poterba, 1994. "Introduction to "International Comparisons of Household Saving"," NBER Chapters, in: International Comparisons of Household Saving, pages 1-10 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Anette Reil-Held, 1999. "Bequests and Aggregate Wealth Accumulation in Germany," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 24(1), pages 50-63, January.
  8. Reinhard Hujer & Bernd Fitzenberger & Reinhold Schnabel & Thomas E. MaCurdy, 2001. "Testing for uniform wage trends in West-Germany: A cohort analysis using quantile regressions for censored data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 41-86.
  9. Rodepeter, Ralf & Winter, Joachim, 1998. "Savings decisions under life-time and earnings uncertainty:," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 98-58, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  10. James Poterba, 1994. "International Comparisons of Household Saving," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote94-1, octubre-d.
  11. Deaton, Angus, 1985. "Panel data from time series of cross-sections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 109-126.
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Cited by:
  1. Weller, Christian E., 2001. "Programs without alternative: Public pensions in the OECD," ZEI Working Papers B 15-2001, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.

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