IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/taf/jocebs/v10y2012i3p275-299.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Household savings in China

Author

Listed:
  • Riccardo Cristadoro
  • Daniela Marconi

Abstract

The domestic saving rate in China is the highest in the world and it surpasses the investment share in GDP, which is also very high by international standards. This excessive saving results in a large current account surplus. Understanding why the Chinese save so much is a central issue in the debate on global imbalances. The goal of our paper is to analyse empirically Chinese household saving behaviour taking into account the disparities within the country, at the provincial level and between rural and urban households. We first show that, notwithstanding the rising contribution of government and firms to national savings the real peculiarity lies with Chinese families. We move from Modigliani and Cao's (2004) attempt to explain rising personal saving in China within the life cycle hypothesis and show how a more careful analysis indicates that life-cycle determinants do not suffice, especially in the most recent period. Once we consider regional differences and distinguish urban and rural households using provincial-level data, it becomes clear that additional explanations are needed and that precautionary motives and liquidity constraints are playing an important role. Our results suggest that in order to reduce the propensity to save of Chinese households it is necessary to improve social services provision and to facilitate the access to credit.

Suggested Citation

  • Riccardo Cristadoro & Daniela Marconi, 2012. "Household savings in China," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 275-299, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jocebs:v:10:y:2012:i:3:p:275-299
    DOI: 10.1080/14765284.2012.699702
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/14765284.2012.699702
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1996. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1797-1855, December.
    2. Zhang, Wenlang & Zhang, Zhiwei & Han, Gaofeng, 2010. "How does the US credit crisis affect the Asia-Pacific economies?--Analysis based on a general equilibrium model," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 280-292, June.
    3. 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.
    4. Fumio Hayashi, 1986. "Why Is Japan's Saving Rate So Apparently High?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 147-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Malhar S Nabar, 2011. "Targets, Interest Rates, and Household Saving in Urban China," IMF Working Papers 11/223, International Monetary Fund.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Marcos D. Chamon & Eswar S. Prasad, 2010. "Why Are Saving Rates of Urban Households in China Rising?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 93-130, January.
    9. Fumio Hayashi, 1989. "Japan's Saving Rate: New Data and Reflections," NBER Working Papers 3205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Charles Yuji Horioka & Junmin Wan, 2007. "The Determinants of Household Saving in China: A Dynamic Panel Analysis of Provincial Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(8), pages 2077-2096, December.
    11. Tamim Bayoumi & Hui Tong & Shang-Jin Wei, 2012. "The Chinese Corporate Savings Puzzle: A Firm-level Cross-Country Perspective," NBER Chapters,in: Capitalizing China, pages 283-308 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Steven A Barnett & Ray Brooks, 2010. "China; Does Government Health and Education Spending Boost Consumption?," IMF Working Papers 10/16, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Norman Loayza & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Luis Servén, 2000. "What Drives Private Saving Across the World?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 165-181, May.
    14. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. "Global imbalances and the financial crisis: products of common causes," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Oct, pages 131-172.
    15. Feng, Jin & He, Lixin & Sato, Hiroshi, 2009. "Public pension and household saving : evidence from China," BOFIT Discussion Papers 2/2009, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    16. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 2000. "Growth and Saving Among Individuals and Households," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 212-225, May.
    17. Emanuele Baldacci & Ding Ding & David Coady & Giovanni Callegari & Pietro Tommasino & Jaejoon Woo & Manmohan S. Kumar, 2010. "Public Expenditures on Social Programs and Household Consumption in China," IMF Working Papers 10/69, International Monetary Fund.
    18. Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244.
    19. Yin Zhang & Guang Hua Wan, 2004. "Liquidity constraint, uncertainty and household consumption in China," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(19), pages 2221-2229.
    20. Feng, Jin & He, Lixin & Sato, Hiroshi, 2011. "Public pension and household saving: Evidence from urban China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 470-485.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Daniela Marconi & Lorenzo Bencivelli & Anna Marra & Alessandro Schiavone & Raffaele Tartaglia-Polcini, 2016. "Offshore RMB markets in Europe: prospects for greater financial integration between Europe and China," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 334, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    2. Christian Dreger & Tongsan Wang & Yanqun Zhang, 2015. "Understanding Chinese Consumption: The Impact of Hukou," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 46(6), pages 1331-1344, November.
    3. Enrica Di Stefano & Daniela Marconi, 2015. "Assessing potential growth in emerging countries after the global financial crisis," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 256, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jocebs:v:10:y:2012:i:3:p:275-299. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: http://www.tandfonline.com/RCEA20 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.