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Le mystère de la consommation perdue

  • Loïc Cadiou
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    [eng] The Puzzle of lost Consumption Loic Cadiou The procyclical movement of the household savings rate has reinfor- ced the slowdown of the French economy from 1990 to 1993. This movement was both substantial and unexpected, since households' beha- viour usually smoothes domestic demand fluctuations : households cut back their savings in periods of slowdowns, which they then reconstitute when recoveries take place. This study shows that this change of attitude as regards consumption and savings is very likely due to variations of the unemployment rate which represent households' precautionary savings behaviour. The importance of financial income during this period also seems to have influenced the savings rate because it has a lower consumption propensity than other incomes. Finally, financial deregulation, which increased competition between credit institutions, may partly explain the fall of the savings rate in the 80's. However, this is not a strong result, since it is based on the introduction of an ad hoc variable representative of deregulation. The latter could have increased the significance of interest rates on house- holds' savings behaviour. [fre] En France, l'évolution procyclique du taux d'épargne des ménages de 1990 à 1993 a été aussi marquée qu'inattendue, renforçant le ralentissement de l'activité économique observé durant cette période. En général, le comportement des ménages contribue, au contraire, à amortir les variations de la demande intérieure. En phase de ralentissement, les ménages puisent sur une épargne qu'ils reconstituent une fois la croissance retrouvée. Cette étude montre que la modification de l'arbitrage entre consommation et épargne est en partie expliquée par les variations du taux de chômage à l'origine du comportement d'épargne de précaution des ménages. Par ailleurs, l'importance des revenus financiers sur cette période a vraisemblablement influencé le taux d'épargne par le biais d'une propension à consommer ce type de revenus inférieure à celle des revenus non financiers. Enfin, il est possible que la déréglementation financière, en accroissant la concurrence dans le secteur de la distribution de crédits, explique une partie de la baisse du taux d'épargne dans les années quatre-vingt. Ce résultat est toutefois fragile car il repose sur l'introduction d'une variable « ad hoc » représentant la dérégle- mentation. Cette dernière aurait par ailleurs rendu significative l'impact des taux d'intérêt sur le comportement d'épargne des ménages.

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    Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue de l'OFCE.

    Volume (Year): 53 (1995)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 147-164

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    Handle: RePEc:prs:rvofce:ofce_0751-6614_1995_num_53_1_1394
    Note: DOI:10.3406/ofce.1995.1394
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