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Do Wealthier Households Save More? The Impact of the Demographic Factor

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  • Ansgar Belke
  • Christian Dreger
  • Richard Ochmann

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between wealth, ageing and saving behaviour of private households by using pooled cross sections of German consumption survey data. Different components of wealth are distinguished, as their impact on the savings rate is not homogeneous. On average, the effect attributed to real estate dominates the other components of wealth. In addition, the savings rate strongly responds to demographic trends. Besides the direct impact of the age structure, an indirect effect arises through the accumulation of wealth. The savings rate does not decrease with age in a monotonic way, as the permanent income hypothesis suggests. Most prominently, older households tend to increase their savings in the second half of their retirement period, probably due to bequest motives and increasing immobility. Given the ongoing demographic trend, an increase of 1.4 percentage points in the aggregated savings rate should be expected over the next two decades.

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File URL: http://www.rome-net.org/RePEc/rmn/wpaper/rome-wp-2012-03.pdf
File Function: First version, 2012
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ROME Network in its series ROME Working Papers with number 201203.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rmn:wpaper:2012103

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Web page: http://www.rome-net.org

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Keywords: Savings; wealth; demographic change;

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References

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  1. Axel B�Rsch-Supan & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2006. "Ageing, Pension Reform and Capital Flows: A Multi-Country Simulation Model," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(292), pages 625-658, November.
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  5. Christopher D Carroll, 2001. "Precautionary Saving and the Marginal Propensity To Consume Out of Permanent Income," Economics Working Paper Archive 445, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Aug 2009.
  6. Belke, Ansgar & Dreger, Christian, 2011. "Current account imbalances in the euro area: Catching up or competitiveness?," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48711, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
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  8. Andrew Ang & Angela Maddaloni, 2005. "Do Demographic Changes Affect Risk Premiums? Evidence from International Data," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 341-380, January.
  9. Author-Name: John Geanakoplos & Michael Magill & Martine Quinzii, 2004. "Demography and the Long-Run Predictability of the Stock Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(1), pages 241-326.
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  14. Higgins, Matthew, 1998. "Demography, National Savings, and International Capital Flows," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 343-69, May.
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  17. Martin Beznoska & Richard Ochmann, 2013. "The interest elasticity of household savings: a structural approach with German micro data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 371-399, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Ansgar Belke, 2013. "Impact of a Low Interest Rate Environment – Global Liquidity Spillovers and the Search-for-yield," ROME Working Papers 201305, ROME Network.

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