Precautionary Savings by Natives and Immigrants in Germany
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 Socio-economic Panel data it is shown that, although immigrants have lower levels of savings and are less likely to have regular savings than natives, the gap is significantly narrowed once we take loan repayments and remittances into account. Moreover, we find that marginal propensity to save for immigrants is about 40% higher than that for natives. We then exploit a natural experiment arising from a change in nationality law in Germany in 2000 to estimate the importance of precautionary savings. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we find that the easing of the requirements for naturalization has caused significant reductions of savings and remittances for immigrants as a whole, in the magnitude of 13% and 29% respectively, comparing to the pre-reform period. Our parametric specification shows that the introduction of the new nationality law reduces the gap between natives and immigrants in marginal propensity to save by 40% to 65%, depending on the measure of savings used. These findings suggest that much of the differences in terms of the savings behaviour between natives and immigrants are driven by the precautionary savings arising from the uncertainties about future income and legal status rather than cultural differences.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published in: Applied Economics, 2012, 44 (21), 2767 - 2776|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
|Order Information:|| Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Bauer, Thomas K. & Sinning, Mathias, 2005. "The Savings Behavior of Temporary and Permanent Migrants in Germany," RWI Discussion Papers 29, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
- Bauer, Thomas & Sinning, Mathias, 2005. "The Savings Behaviour of Temporary and Permanent Migrants in Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 5102, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Bauer, Thomas K. & Sinning, Mathias, 2005. "The Savings Behavior of Temporary and Permanent Migrants in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 1632, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- 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.
- Karen E. Dynan & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2000. "Do the Rich Save More?," NBER Working Papers 7906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Karen E. Dynan & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen Zeldes, 2000. "Do the rich save more?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-52, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Dustmann, Christian, 1997. "Return migration, uncertainty and precautionary savings," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 295-316, April.
- 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.
- Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
- Borjas, George J, 1987.
"Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
- 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.
- Galor, Oded & Stark, Oded, 1990. "Migrants' Savings, the Probability of Return Migration and Migrants' Performance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(2), pages 463-67, May.
- 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.
- Merkle, Lucie & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1992. "Savings, remittances, and return migration," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 77-81, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2942. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.