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Precautionary and Entrepreneurial Saving: New Evidence from German Households


  • Frank M. Fossen
  • Davud Rostam-Afschar


The well-documented positive correlation between income risk and wealth was interpreted as evidence for high amounts of precautionary wealth in various studies. However, the large estimates emerged from pooling non-entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs without controlling for heterogeneity. This paper provides evidence for Germany based on representative panel data including private wealth balance sheets. Entrepreneurs, who face high income risk, hold more wealth than employees, but it is shown that this is not due to precautionary motives. Entrepreneurs may rather save for old age, as they are usually not covered by statutory pension insurance. The analysis accounts for endogeneity of entrepreneurial choice.

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  • Frank M. Fossen & Davud Rostam-Afschar, 2009. "Precautionary and Entrepreneurial Saving: New Evidence from German Households," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 920, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp920

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:soinre:v:133:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1376-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Semih Tumen, 2017. "Entrepreneurship in the shadows," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 25(2), pages 239-269, April.
    3. Meissner, Thomas & Rostam-Afschar, Davud, 2017. "Learning Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 273-288.
    4. Jessen, Robin & Rostam-Afschar, Davud & Schmitz, Sebastian, 2016. "How important is precautionary labor supply?," Discussion Papers 2016/10, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    5. Johannes Geyer, 2011. "The Effect of Health and Employment Risks on Precautionary Savings," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 408, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    6. Steiner, Viktor & Fossen, Frank & Rees, Ray & Rostam-Afschar, Davud, 2017. "How Do Entrepreneurial Portfolios Respond to Income Taxation?," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168302, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Michele Limosani & Emanuele Millemaci, 2014. "Precautionary savings of agents with heterogeneous risk aversion," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(20), pages 2342-2361, July.
    8. Fossen, Frank M. & Rees, Ray & Rostam-Afschar, Davud & Steiner, Viktor, 2017. "How do entrepreneurial portfolios respond to income taxation?," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 12-2017, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    9. Luigi Bonatti & Andrea Fracasso, 2012. "A Germans� dilemma: save the euro or preserve their socio-economic model," Department of Economics Working Papers 1207, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    10. Marcus Klemm, 2012. "Job Security Perceptions and the Saving Behavior of German Households," Ruhr Economic Papers 0380, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    11. repec:zbw:rwirep:0380 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Klemm, Marcus, 2012. "Job Security Perceptions and the Saving Behavior of German Households," Ruhr Economic Papers 380, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.

    More about this item


    precautionary saving; precautionary wealth; entrepreneurship;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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