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Precautionary savings by natives and immigrants in Germany

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  • Yu Zhu

    () (School of Economics - University of Kent)

  • Matloob Piracha

    () (School of Economics - University of Kent)

Abstract

This paper analyses the savings behaviour of natives and immigrants in Germany. It is argued that uncertainty about future income and legal status (in case of immigrants) is a key component in the determination of the level of precautionary savings. Using the German dataset, we exploit a natural experiment arising from a change in the nationality law in Germany to estimate the importance of precautionary savings. Using difference-in-differences approach, we find a significant reduction in savings and remittances for immigrants after the easing of citizenship requirements, compared to the pre-reform period. Our parametric specification shows that introduction of the new nationality law reduces the gap in marginal propensity to save between natives and immigrants by up to 80%. These findings suggest that much of the differences in terms of the savings behaviour between natives and immigrants are driven by the savings arising from the uncertainties about future income and legal status rather than cultural differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Yu Zhu & Matloob Piracha, 2011. "Precautionary savings by natives and immigrants in Germany," Post-Print hal-00718702, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00718702 DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2011.566202 Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00718702
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomas Bauer & Mathias Sinning, 2011. "The savings behavior of temporary and permanent migrants in Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(2), pages 421-449, April.
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    5. Christopher D. Carroll & Byung-Kun Rhee & Changyong Rhee, 1994. "Are There Cultural Effects on Saving? Some Cross-Sectional Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 685-699.
    6. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Susan Pozo, 2002. "Precautionary Saving by Young Immigrants and Young Natives," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 48-71, July.
    7. Dustmann, Christian, 1997. "Return migration, uncertainty and precautionary savings," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 295-316, April.
    8. Karen E. Dynan & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2004. "Do the Rich Save More?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 397-444, April.
    9. Merkle, Lucie & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1992. "Savings, remittances, and return migration," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 77-81, January.
    10. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Susan Pozo, 2006. "Remittances as insurance: evidence from Mexican immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 19(2), pages 227-254, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mahuteau, Stéphane & Piracha, Matloob & Tani, Massimiliano, 2010. "Selection Policy and Immigrants' Remittance Behaviour," IZA Discussion Papers 4874, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Giulia Bettin & Riccardo Lucchetti, 2012. "Intertemporal remittance behaviour by immigrants in Germany," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 75, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    3. Matloob Piracha & Teresa Randazzo, 2011. "Remittances and Return Migration," Studies in Economics 1118, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    4. Kaczmarczyk, Pawel, 2013. "Money for Nothing? Ukrainian Immigrants in Poland and their Remitting Behaviors," IZA Discussion Papers 7666, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Augustin de Coulon & Dragos Radu & Max Friedrich Steinhardt, 2016. "Pane e Cioccolata: The Impact of Native Attitudes on Return Migration," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(2), pages 253-281, May.
    6. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini, 2014. "The Fiscal Effects of Immigration to the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(580), pages 593-643, November.
    7. Katarzyna Budnik, 2011. "Temporary migration in theories of international mobility of labour," Bank i Kredyt, Narodowy Bank Polski, vol. 42(6), pages 7-48.
    8. Piracha, Matloob & Tani, Massimiliano & Tchuente, Guy, 2017. "Immigration Policy and Remittance Behaviour," GLO Discussion Paper Series 94, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    9. Yu Zhu & Zhongmin Wu & Meiyan Wang & Yang Du & Fang Cai, 2011. "Do Migrants Really Save More? Understanding the Impact of Remittances on Savings in Rural China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 654-672.
    10. Guin, Benjamin, 2017. "Culture and household saving," Working Paper Series 2069, European Central Bank.
    11. Bettin, Giulia & Paçacı Elitok, Seçil & Straubhaar, Thomas, 2012. "Causes and consequences of the downturn in financial remittances to Turkey: A descriptive approach," Edition HWWI: Chapters,in: Turkey, migration and the EU, pages 133-166 Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    12. Christina Felfe & Judith Saurer & Anita Fichtl, 2015. "Deutsch ab Geburt: Einfluss von Staatsangehörigkeit auf Bildungsbeteiligung und Bildungserfolg," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 68(24), pages 17-22, December.
    13. Vaira-Lucero, Matias & Nahm, Daehoon & Tani, Massimiliano, 2012. "The Impact of the 1996 US Immigration Policy Reform (IIRIRA) on Mexican Migrants' Remittances," IZA Discussion Papers 6546, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Merike Kukk, 2014. "Distinguishing the Components of Household Financial Wealth: the Impact of Liabilities on Assets in Euro Area Countries," Proceedings of International Academic Conferences 0100418, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
    15. Emmanuel K.K. Lartey, 2016. "The Cyclicality Of Remittances In Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 41(1), pages 1-18, March.
    16. Hulya Ulku, 2012. "Determinants of the Savings and Fixed Asset Holdings of Turkish Migrants in Germany," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(1), pages 83-99, January.
    17. Hulya Ulku, 2012. "Remitting Behaviour of Turkish Migrants: Evidence from Household Data in Germany," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 49(14), pages 3139-3158, November.
    18. Saurer, Judith & Felfe, Christina, 2014. "Granting Birthright Citizenship - A Door Opener for Immigrant Children's Educational Participation and Success?," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100548, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    19. Borodak, Daniela & Piracha, Matloob, 2013. "Who Moves and For How Long: Determinants of Different Forms of Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 7388, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    20. Hulya Ulku, 2012. "Determinants of the Savings and Fixed Asset Holdings of Turkish Migrants in Germany," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(1), pages 83-99, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social Sciences & Humanities;

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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