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Understanding household savings in China: the role of the housing market and borrowing constraints

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  • Bussière, Matthieu
  • Kalantzis, Yannick
  • Lafarguette, Romain
  • Sicular, Terry

Abstract

This paper examines the role of rising housing prices and borrowing constraints as determinants of China's high household saving rate, especially among young households. Using a life-cycle model of saving behavior in the presence of borrowing constraints, we show that the relationship between housing prices and saving exists only under certain conditions and for certain groups of households. Specifically, when the return on financial instruments is low (which is the case in China), the saving rate of young households may increase with housing prices. This relationship, moreover, is non-linear and depends on the level of wealth. Employing an empirical strategy motivated by the theoretical model, we analyze a dataset of over six thousand Chinese urban households spanning the years 1995, 2002 and 2007. We find evidence that higher housing prices do in fact increase the saving rates of young households. We also find evidence for the predicted non-linearity.

Suggested Citation

  • Bussière, Matthieu & Kalantzis, Yannick & Lafarguette, Romain & Sicular, Terry, 2013. "Understanding household savings in China: the role of the housing market and borrowing constraints," MPRA Paper 44611, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:44611
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Choukhmane, Taha & Coeurdacier, Nicolas & Jin, Keyu, 2013. "The One-Child Policy and Household Savings," CEPR Discussion Papers 9688, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Damien Cubizol, 2017. "Transition and capital misallocation: the Chinese case," Working Papers halshs-01176919, HAL.
    3. Cubizol, Damien, 2018. "Transition and capital misallocation: the Chinese case," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 88-115.
    4. Nie, Guangyu, 2020. "Marriage squeeze, marriage age and the household savings rate in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C).
    5. M. Albert & C. Jude & C. Rebillard, 2015. "The Long Landing Scenario: Rebalancing from Overinvestment and Excessive Credit Growth. Implications for Potential Growth in China," Working papers 572, Banque de France.
    6. Keyu Jin & Nicolas Coeurdacier, 2013. "The One-Child Policy and Household Savings in China," 2013 Meeting Papers 790, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    saving rates; housing market; China; global imbalances; borrowing constraints;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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