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Precautionary Saving of Chinese and U.S. Households

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Listed:
  • HORAG CHOI
  • STEVEN LUGAUER
  • NELSON C. MARK

Abstract

We employ a model of precautionary saving to study why household saving rates are high in China and low in the United States. The use of recursive preferences gives a convenient decomposition of saving into precautionary and nonprecautionary components. Over 80% of China's saving rate and nearly all U.S. saving arises from the precautionary motive. The difference between U.S. and Chinese household income growth rates is vastly more important than income risk for explaining the saving rates. The key mechanism is that precautionary savers have target wealth‐to‐income ratios, and rapid income growth necessitates high saving rates to maintain the ratio.

Suggested Citation

  • Horag Choi & Steven Lugauer & Nelson C. Mark, 2017. "Precautionary Saving of Chinese and U.S. Households," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 49(4), pages 635-661, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jmoncb:v:49:y:2017:i:4:p:635-661
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/jmcb.12393
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chadwick C. Curtis & Steven Lugauer & Nelson C. Mark, 2015. "Demographic Patterns and Household Saving in China," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 58-94, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:taf:houspd:v:27:y:2017:i:5:p:712-733 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Daria Pignalosa, 2018. "The Role Of The Utility Function In The Estimation Of Preference Parameters," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0235, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
    3. Chadwick C. Curtis & Steven Lugauer & Nelson C. Mark, 2015. "Demographic Patterns and Household Saving in China," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 58-94, April.
    4. Steven Lugauer & Jinlan Ni & Zhichao Yin, 2014. "Micro-Data Evidence on Family Size and Chinese Saving Rates," Working Papers 023, University of Notre Dame, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2014.
    5. Curtis, Chadwick C. & Lugauer, Steven & Mark, Nelson C., 2017. "Demographics and aggregate household saving in Japan, China, and India," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 175-191.
    6. Chan, Kenneth S. & Dang, Vinh Q.T. & Li, Tingting & So, Jacky Y.C., 2016. "Under-consumption, trade surplus, and income inequality in China," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 241-256.
    7. repec:kap:geneva:v:43:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1057_s10713-018-0030-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:bla:asiapr:v:12:y:2017:i:2:p:258-277 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Fan, Ying & Yavas, Abdullah, 2017. "How Does Mortgage Debt Affect Household Consumption? Micro Evidence from China," MPRA Paper 79306, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance

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