IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/lev/wrkpap/wp_306.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Household Savings in Germany

Author

Listed:
  • Axel Borsch-Supan
  • Anette Reil-Held
  • Ralf Rodepeter
  • Reinhold Schnabel
  • Joachim Winter

Abstract

This paper describes how German households save and how their saving behavior is linked to public policy, notably pension policy. The analysis is based on a synthetic panel of four cross sections of the German Income and Expenditure Survey ("Einkommens- und Verbrauchsstichproben," EVS,1978, 1983, 1988, and 1993). The paper carefully distinguishes between several saving measures and concepts. It separates discretionary savings from mandatory savings and uses two flow measures: first, the sum of purchases of assets minus the sum of sales of assets and, second, the residual of income minus consumption. Our main finding is a hump-shaped age-saving profile with a high overall saving rate. However, savings remain positive in old age, even for most low-income households. How can we explain what may be termed the "German savings puzzle"? Germany has one of the most generous public pension and health insurance systems in the world, yet private savings are high until old age. We provide a complicated answer that combines historical facts with capital market imperfections and a distinction between the role of discretionary and mandatory savings.

Suggested Citation

  • Axel Borsch-Supan & Anette Reil-Held & Ralf Rodepeter & Reinhold Schnabel & Joachim Winter, 2000. "Household Savings in Germany," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_306, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_306
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp306.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    • Börsch-Supan, Axel & Reil-Held, Anette & Rodepeter, Ralf & Schnabel, Reinhold & Winter, Joachim, 2000. "Household Savings in Germany," Discussion Papers 577, Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Borsch-Supan, Axel, 1992. "Saving and Consumption Patterns of the Elderly: The German Case," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 5(4), pages 289-303.
    2. Deaton, Angus, 1985. "Panel data from time series of cross-sections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 109-126.
    3. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1991. "Why is Italy's Savings Rate So High?," CEPR Discussion Papers 572, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. James M. Poterba, 1994. "International Comparisons of Household Saving," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote94-1.
    5. Walliser, Jan & Winter, Joachim, 1998. "Tax incentives, bequest motives and the demand for life insurance : evidence from Germany," Papers 99-28, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    6. Anette Reil-Held, 1999. "Bequests and Aggregate Wealth Accumulation in Germany," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 24(1), pages 50-63, January.
    7. James M. Poterba, 1994. "Introduction to "International Comparisons of Household Saving"," NBER Chapters,in: International Comparisons of Household Saving, pages 1-10 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Reinhard Hujer & Bernd Fitzenberger & Reinhold Schnabel & Thomas E. MaCurdy, 2001. "Testing for uniform wage trends in West-Germany: A cohort analysis using quantile regressions for censored data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 41-86.
    9. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Reil-Held, Anette & Schnabel, Reinhold, 1998. "Pension Provision in Germany," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 98-07, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    10. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Reil-Held, Anette & Rodepeter, Ralf & Schnabel, Reinhold & Winter, Joachim, 1999. "Ersparnisbildung in Deutschland : Meßkonzepte und Ergebnisse auf Basis der EVS," Papers 99-02, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    11. Fachinger, Uwe, 1998. "Die Verteilung der Vermögen privater Haushalte: Einige konzeptionelle Anmerkungen sowie empirische Befunde für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland," Working papers of the ZeS 13/1998, University of Bremen, Centre for Social Policy Research (ZeS).
    12. Rodepeter, Ralf & Winter, Joachim, 1998. "Savings decisions under life-time and earnings uncertainty:," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 98-58, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Weller, Christian E., 2001. "Programs without alternative: Public pensions in the OECD," ZEI Working Papers B 15-2001, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_306. 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: (Elizabeth Dunn). General contact details of provider: http://www.levyinstitute.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.