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Chinese saving dynamics: the impact of GDP growth and the dependent share

  • Carl Bonham
  • Calla Wiemer

China's national saving rate rose rapidly in the 2000s after declining through the late 1990s. These dynamics are not readily explained by the precautionary motive, the institutional distribution of income, or reform related processes in general. Rather, we find a compelling explanation lies with GDP growth fluctuations and demographic shifts. We estimate a vector autoregressive model for the period 1978--2008, then generate in-sample simulations that successfully replicate the 2000s run-up in the saving rate. Our out of sample forecasts project a decline in the saving rate in the 2010s as the dependent share falls and GDP growth moderates. Copyright 2013 Oxford University Press 2012 All rights reserved, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/oep/gps020
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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 65 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 173-196

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:65:y:2013:i:1:p:173-196
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  1. Charles Yuji Horioka & Junmin Wan, 2006. "The Determinants of Household Saving in China: A Dynamic Panel Analysis of Provincial Data," ISER Discussion Paper 0676, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University, revised Sep 2007.
  2. Michael Dooley & Jeffrey Frankel & Donald J. Mathieson, 1987. "International Capital Mobility: What Do Saving-Investment Correlations Tell Us?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(3), pages 503-530, September.
  3. Marcos Chamon & Eswar Prasad, 2008. "Why Are Saving Rates of Urban Households in China Rising?," IMF Working Papers 08/145, International Monetary Fund.
  4. George A. Akerlof, 2009. "How Human Psychology Drives the Economy and Why It Matters," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1175-1175.
  5. Hans-Martin Krolzig, 2003. "General-to-Specific Model Selection Procedures for Structural Vector Autoregressions," Economics Series Working Papers 2003-W15, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. Martin Feldstein & Charles Horioka, 1979. "Domestic Savings and International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 0310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Christopher D. Carroll & Jody Overland & David N. Weil, 1995. "Saving and growth with habit formation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Shang-Jin Wei & Xiaobo Zhang, 2009. "The Competitive Saving Motive: Evidence from Rising Sex Ratios and Savings Rates in China," NBER Working Papers 15093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Loayza, Norman & Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus & Serven, Luis, 2000. "What drives private saving around the world?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2309, The World Bank.
  10. Wing Thye Woo, 2006. "The Structural Nature of Internal and External Imbalances in China," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 1-19.
  11. 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.
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