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The One-Child Policy and Household Savings

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  • Choukhmane, Taha
  • Coeurdacier, Nicolas
  • Jin, Keyu

Abstract

We ask how much the advent of the `one child policy' can explain the sharp rise in China's household saving rate. In a life-cycle model with endogenous fertility, intergenerational transfers and human capital accumulation, we show a macroeconomic and a microeconomic channel through which restrictions in fertility raise aggregate saving. The macro-channel operates through a shift in the composition of demographics and income across generations. The micro-channel alters saving behaviour and education decisions at the individual level. A main objective is to quantify these various channels in the data. Exploiting the birth of twins as an identification strategy, we provide direct empirical evidence on the micro-channel and show its quantitative relevance in accounting for the rise in the household saving rate since the inception of the policy in 1980. Our quantitative OLG model can explain from a third to at most 60% of the rise in aggregate saving rate; equally important is its implied shift in the level and shape of the age-saving profile consistent with micro-level estimates from the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Choukhmane, Taha & Coeurdacier, Nicolas & Jin, Keyu, 2013. "The One-Child Policy and Household Savings," CEPR Discussion Papers 9688, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9688
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The One-Child Policy and Household Savings
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2014-06-05 01:02:04

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    Cited by:

    1. Doepke, M. & Tertilt, M., 2016. "Families in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.
    2. Abhijit Banerjee & Xin Meng & Tommaso Porzio & Nancy Qian, 2014. "Aggregate Fertility and Household Savings: A General Equilibrium Analysis using Micro Data," Working Papers id:5799, eSocialSciences.
    3. Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato & Xiao Yu Wang & Shuang Zhang, 2016. "The Limits of Meritocracy: Screening Bureaucrats Under Imperfect Verifiability," NBER Working Papers 21963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Stephane Guibaud & Keyu Jin & Nicolas Coeurdacier, 2011. "Credit Constraints and Growth in a Global Economy," 2011 Meeting Papers 1040, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Coeurdacier, Nicolas & Guibaud, Stéphane & Jin, Keyu, 2014. "Fertility policies and social security reforms in China," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 66107, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Almås, Ingvild & Freddi, Eleonora & Thøgersen, Øystein, 2016. "Saving and Bequest in China: An Analysis of Intergenerational Exchange," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 10/2016, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    7. Mark Rosenzweig & Junsen Zhang, 2014. "Co-residence, Life-Cycle Savings and Inter- Generational Support in Urban China," Working Papers 1039, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    8. Oliveira, Jaqueline, 2016. "The value of children: Inter-generational support, fertility, and human capital," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 1-16.
    9. Ayşe İmrohoroğlu & Kai Zhao, 2017. "The Chinese Saving Rate: Long-Term Care Risks, Family Insurance, and Demographics," Working papers 2017-17, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    10. Coeurdacier, Nicolas & Guibaud, Stéphane & Jin, Keyu, 2015. "Credit constraints and growth in a global economy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 62016, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    11. Atella, Vincenzo & Brugiavini, Agar & Pace, Noemi, 2015. "The health care system reform in China: Effects on out-of-pocket expenses and saving," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 182-195.
    12. de Silva, Tiloka & Tenreyro, Silvana, 2017. "The large fall in global fertility: A quantitative model," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86157, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    13. repec:eee:injoed:v:54:y:2017:i:c:p:39-50 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Zhou, Weina, 2014. "Brothers, household financial markets and savings rate in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 34-47.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. repec:eee:jimfin:v:81:y:2018:i:c:p:88-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Howden, David & Zhou, Yang, 2014. "Unintended Consequences of China´s One-Child Policy," MPRA Paper 79607, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Ayşe İmrohoroğlu & Kai Zhao, 2017. "Intergenerational Transfers and China’s Social Security Reform," Working papers 2017-18, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fertility; Intergenerational transfers; Life Cycle Consumption/Savings;

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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