IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Household Composition and Savings: An Empirical Analysis based on the German SOEP Data


  • Felix Freyland

    (Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA))


New developments in the literature on household saving behavior have focused on the question how household savings depend on the composition of a household. This question is of particular interest with respect to aggregate savings when we consider the ongoing changes of the forms of living in recent years (e.g. the tendency to smaller households). As a starting point this paper states some hypotheses about the linkages between household composition and savings that stem from the recent literature. Variables that are claimed to be relevant for household savings include the age sex composition of a household, the intra household distribution of income and the number and age of children within a household. In order to check how relevant these variables are for German households (i.e. do German households differ with respect to these variables) we first describe the composition of German households and how this composition has changed over the last two decades based on the GSOEP data. The variables of interest like age difference between spouses, intra-household distribution of income, labor market participation of spouses are found to be highly relevant among German households. In addition, a tendency to smaller households and later household formation is found to name only a few facts. The last section then tries to test the respective hypotheses about the household composition savings relation. The most important results found are the following Children positively effect savings in younger households but have a negative influence on savings in elder households. Double earners were found to save a significantly higher share of household income. We also found some weak evidence that a longer remaining life expectancy of the wife together with a higher wife’s income share positively effects a household’s savings rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Felix Freyland, 2005. "Household Composition and Savings: An Empirical Analysis based on the German SOEP Data," MEA discussion paper series 05088, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:05088

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Browning, Martin, 2000. " The Saving Behaviour of a Two-Person Household," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(2), pages 235-251, June.
    2. Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1996. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1797-1855, December.
    3. Browning, Martin, 1995. "Saving and the intra-household distribution of income: an empirical investigation," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 277-292, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Corneo, Giacomo & Keese, Matthias & Schröder, Carsten, 2008. "Can governments boost voluntary retirement savings via tax incentives and subsidies? A German case study for low-income households," Economics Working Papers 2008-18, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
    2. Bram De Rock & Bart Capéau, 2015. "The implications of household size and children for life-cycle saving," Working Paper Research 286, National Bank of Belgium.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:mea:meawpa:05088. 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: (Henning Frankenberger). General contact details of provider: .

    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.