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What Determines Household Saving Behavior: An Examination of Saving Motives and Saving Decisions 06.01.2009


  • Schunk Daniel

    () (Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, Department of Economics, University of Zurich, 8006 Zürich, Switzerland)


Saving decisions are complex, since there are many concurrent motives for saving a portion of one’s income. However, while the existing literature covers all of these motives, most contributions select only one of them as a focus and relegate the others to the background by making simplifying assumptions about them. While the focus on only one saving motive is vital for many insights on aggregate saving behavior, this paper argues that further insights relevant to policy can be gained by relaxing this assumption. Using data from a random sample of German households and from federal official statistics, I explain how much people save under the explicit assumption that various different saving motives co-exist. The findings show that heterogeneity in saving behavior is systematically related to the importance that households attach to different co-existing saving motives. This suggests that policy reforms that change the importance of certain saving motives in the eyes of private households might influence their saving decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Schunk Daniel, 2009. "What Determines Household Saving Behavior: An Examination of Saving Motives and Saving Decisions 06.01.2009," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 229(4), pages 467-491, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:229:y:2009:i:4:p:467-491

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Julia Le Blanc & Alessandro Porpiglia & Federica Teppa & Junyi Zhu & Michael Ziegelmeyer, 2014. "Household saving behaviour and credit constraints in the Euro area," DNB Working Papers 428, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    2. Marcus Klemm, 2012. "Job Security Perceptions and the Saving Behavior of German Households," Ruhr Economic Papers 0380, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    3. Klemm, Marcus, 2012. "Job Security Perceptions and the Saving Behavior of German Households," Ruhr Economic Papers 380, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    4. Johannes Geyer, 2011. "The Effect of Health and Employment Risks on Precautionary Savings," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 408, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    5. Frank M. Fossen & Davud Rostam-Afschar, 2013. "Precautionary and Entrepreneurial Savings: New Evidence from German Households," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 75(4), pages 528-555, August.
    6. repec:zbw:rwirep:0380 is not listed on IDEAS


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