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Targets, Interest Rates, and Household Saving in Urban China

  • Malhar Nabar
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    This paper studies a panel of China's provinces over the period 1996-2009 during which urban household saving rates increased from 19 percent of disposable income to 30 percent. It finds that the increase in urban saving rates is negatively associated with the decline in real interest rates over this period. This negative association suggests that Chinese households save with a target level of saving in mind. When the return to saving declines (increases), it becomes more difficult (easier) to meet a target and households increase (lower) their saving out of current disposable income to compensate. The results are robust across specifications and to the inclusion of additional variables. A main policy implication is that an increase in real deposit rates may help lower household saving and boost domestic consumption.

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 11/223.

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    Length: 29
    Date of creation: 01 Oct 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:11/223
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    1. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi, 2006. "Rebalancing Growth in China: A Three-Handed Approach," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 14(4), pages 1-20.
    2. 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.
    3. Laxton, Doug & N'Diaye, Papa & Pesenti, Paolo, 2006. "Deflationary Shocks and Monetary Rules: An Open-Economy Scenario Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 5997, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Chamon, Marcos & Liu, Kai & Prasad, Eswar, 2013. "Income uncertainty and household savings in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 164-177.
    5. 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.
    6. Giles, John T. & Mu, Ren, 2006. "Elder Parent Health and the Migration Decision of Adult Children: Evidence from Rural China," IZA Discussion Papers 2333, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. John Giles & Kyeongwon Yoo, 2007. "Precautionary Behavior, Migrant Networks, and Household Consumption Decisions: An Empirical Analysis Using Household Panel Data from Rural China," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 534-551, August.
    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. repec:imf:imfwpa:05/209 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. International Monetary Fund, 2009. "Interest Rate Liberalization in China," IMF Working Papers 09/171, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Cai, Fang & Giles, John & Meng, Xin, 2006. "How well do children insure parents against low retirement income? An analysis using survey data from urban China," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(12), pages 2229-2255, December.
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