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Demographic Patterns and Household Saving in China

  • Chadwick C. Curtis
  • Steven Lugauer
  • Nelson C. Mark

This paper studies the effect that changing demographic patterns have had on the household saving rate in China. We undertake a quantitative investigation using an overlapping generations (OLG) model where agents live for 85 years. Consumers begin to exercise decision making when they are 18. From age 18 to 60, they work and raise children. Dependent children's utility enter into parent's utility where parents choose the consumption level of the young until they leave the household. Working agents give a portion of their labor income to their retired parents and save for their own retirement while the aged live on their accumulated assets and support from their children. Remaining assets are bequeathed to the living upon death. We parameterize the model and take future demographic changes, labor income and interest rates as exogenously given from the data. We then run the model from 1963 to 2009 and find that the model accounts for nearly all the observed increase in the household saving rate.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16828.

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Date of creation: Feb 2011
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Publication status: published as Chadwick C. Curtis & Steven Lugauer & Nelson C. Mark, 2015. "Demographic Patterns and Household Saving in China," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 58-94, April.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16828
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  1. Marcos Chamon & Eswar Prasad, 2008. "Why are Saving Rates of Urban Households in China Rising?," NBER Working Papers 14546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Orazio P. Attanasio & Agar Brugiavini, 2003. "Social Security And Households' Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1075-1119, August.
  3. Krueger, Dirk & Ludwig, Alexander, 2006. "On the consequences of demographic change for rates of returns to capital, and the distribution of wealth and welfare," CFS Working Paper Series 2006/18, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
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  7. Barro, Robert J & Becker, Gary S, 1989. "Fertility Choice in a Model of Economic Growth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 481-501, March.
  8. Nir Jaimovich & Henry E. Siu, 2009. "The Young, the Old, and the Restless: Demographics and Business Cycle Volatility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 804-26, June.
  9. 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.
  10. Robert Shimer, 2001. "The Impact Of Young Workers On The Aggregate Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 969-1007, August.
  11. Horioka, Charles Yuji & Terada-Hagiwara, Akiko, 2012. "The determinants and long-term projections of saving rates in Developing Asia," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 128-137.
  12. Chow, G.C., 1990. "Capital Formation And Economic Growth In China," Papers 67, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  13. Ferrero, Andrea, 2010. "A structural decomposition of the U.S. trade balance: Productivity, demographics and fiscal policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(4), pages 478-490, May.
  14. Charles Yuji Horioka & Junmin Wan, 2006. "The Determinants of Household Saving in China: A Dynamic Panel Analysis of Provincial Data," ISER Discussion Paper 0676, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University, revised Sep 2007.
  15. Mohsin S. Khan & Zuliu Hu, 1996. "Why is China Growing so Fast?," IMF Working Papers 96/75, International Monetary Fund.
  16. Shang-Jin Wei & Xiaobo Zhang, 2009. "The Competitive Saving Motive: Evidence from Rising Sex Ratios and Savings Rates in China," NBER Working Papers 15093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2010. "Aging And Saving In Asia," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 46-55, 02.
  18. James Feyrer, 2007. "Demographics and Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 100-109, February.
  19. Chadwick C. Curtis & Nelson Mark, 2010. "Business Cycles, Consumption and Risk-Sharing: How Different Is China?," NBER Working Papers 16154, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Hans Fehr & Sabine Jokisch & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2007. "Will China Eat Our Lunch or Take Us to Dinner? Simulating the Transition Paths of the United States, the European Union, Japan, and China," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Policy and Management in East Asia, NBER-EASE, Volume 16, pages 133-193 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Chadwick C. Curtis & Steven Lugauer & Nelson C. Mark, 2011. "Demographic Patterns and Household Saving in China," NBER Working Papers 16828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Guonan Ma & Wang Yi, 2010. "China's high saving rate: myth and reality," BIS Working Papers 312, Bank for International Settlements.
  23. Horag Choi & Nelson C. Mark & Donggyu Sul, 2007. "Endogenous Discounting, the World Saving Glut and the U.S. Current Account," NBER Working Papers 13571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Chadwick Curtis, . "Economic Reforms and the Evolution of China's Total Factor Productivity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
  25. Horag Choi & Nelson C. Mark, 2009. "Trending Current Accounts," NBER Working Papers 15244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Steven Lugauer, 2012. "Estimating the Effect of the Age Distribution on Cyclical Output Volatility Across the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 896-902, November.
  27. Rodolfo E. Manuelli & Ananth Seshadri, 2009. "Explaining International Fertility Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 771-807, May.
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