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

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  • Carl Bonham
  • Calla Wiemer

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Carl Bonham & Calla Wiemer, 2013. "Chinese saving dynamics: the impact of GDP growth and the dependent share," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 173-196, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:65:y:2013:i:1:p:173-196
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/oep/gps020
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jody Overland & Christopher D. Carroll & David N. Weil, 2000. "Saving and Growth with Habit Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 341-355, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Shang-Jin Wei & Xiaobo Zhang, 2011. "The Competitive Saving Motive: Evidence from Rising Sex Ratios and Savings Rates in China," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(3), pages 511-564.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dayong Zhang & Yu Wu, 2012. "Household Savings, the Stock Market, and Economic Growth in China," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(2), pages 44-58, March.
    2. Dayong Zhang & Yu Wu, 2012. "Household Savings, the Stock Market, and Economic Growth in China," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 48(2), pages 44-58, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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