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Public pension and household saving: Evidence from urban China

  • Feng, Jin
  • He, Lixin
  • Sato, Hiroshi

We relate household savings to pension reform, to explain the high household savings rates in urban China from a new perspective. We use the exogenous – policy-induced – variation in pension wealth to estimate explicitly the impact of pension wealth on household savings, and obtain evidence of a significant offset effect of pension wealth on household savings. Although the size of the effect depends on the parameter values assumed, the finding that household savings are affected by pension reform is robust. Our estimates show that, under plausible scenarios, pension reform boosted household savings rates in 1999 by about 6–9 percentage points for cohorts aged 25–29 and by about 2–3 percentage points for cohorts 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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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 470-485

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:39:y:2011:i:4:p:470-485
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864

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  1. 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).
  2. Venti, Steven F & Wise, David A, 1990. "Have IRAs Increased U.S. Saving? Evidence from Consumer Expenditure Surveys," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 661-98, August.
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  18. 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.
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