IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Household Saving in Australia

Listed author(s):
  • Richard Finlay

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Fiona Price

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

This paper investigates household saving behaviour in Australia, as well as the drivers behind the recent rise in the aggregate household saving ratio. Our results explaining differences in saving behaviour across households are consistent with theory and previous findings. As might be expected, households' saving ratios tend to increase with income, but decrease with wealth and gearing. Financially constrained and migrant households tend to save more than other households, all else equal. While saving differs substantially across age groups we find that, at least in part, this reflects differing circumstances. Our results suggest that the rise in household saving between 2003/04 and 2009/10 was driven by changes in the saving behaviour associated with certain household characteristics, rather than changes in characteristics: households with less secure income and/or those vulnerable to asset price shocks, higher-educated households, younger households with debt and older households with wealth increased their propensity to save. While our results inform which households changed their saving behaviour, we are unable to definitively conclude what caused this change in behaviour. Our interpretation of these results is that precautionary saving motives, a reduction in future income expectations for higher-educated households, an effort to rebuild wealth after the financial crisis and changing attitudes to debt contributed to the rise in the household saving ratio, although other interpretations of the data are possible.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.rba.gov.au/publications/rdp/2014/pdf/rdp2014-03.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Reserve Bank of Australia in its series RBA Research Discussion Papers with number rdp2014-03.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Apr 2014
Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2014-03
Contact details of provider: Postal:
GPO Box 3947, Sydney NSW 2001

Phone: 61-2-9551-8111
Fax: 61-2-9551-8000
Web page: http://www.rba.gov.au/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as
in new window


  1. Stephen P. Zeldes, "undated". "Consumption and Liquidity Constraints: An Empirical Investigation," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 16-88, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  2. Thaler, Richard H & Shefrin, H M, 1981. "An Economic Theory of Self-Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 392-406, April.
  3. Callan Windsor & Jarkko Jääskelä & Richard Finlay, 2013. "Home Prices and Household Spending," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2013-04, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  4. Iacoviello, Matteo, 2004. "Consumption, House Prices and Collateral Constraints: A Structural Econometric Analysis," 2004 Meeting Papers 207b, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Martin Browning & Thomas Crossley, 2001. "The life-cycle model of consumption and saving," IFS Working Papers W01/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Matthew Brzozowski & Thomas F. Crossley, 2011. "Viewpoint: Measuring the well-being of the poor with income or consumption: a Canadian perspective," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(1), pages 88-106, February.
  7. Nikola Dvornak & Marion Kohler, 2007. "Housing Wealth, Stock Market Wealth and Consumption: A Panel Analysis for Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 83(261), pages 117-130, 06.
  8. Marcos D. Chamon & Eswar S. Prasad, 2010. "Why Are Saving Rates of Urban Households in China Rising?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 93-130, January.
  9. Orazio P. Attanasio & Guglielmo Weber, 2010. "Consumption and Saving: Models of Intertemporal Allocation and Their Implications for Public Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(3), pages 693-751, September.
  10. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  11. Muellbauer, John, 2007. "Housing and Personal Wealth in a Global Context," WIDER Working Paper Series 027, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  12. Christopher D. Carroll, 1992. "The Buffer-Stock Theory of Saving: Some Macroeconomic Evidence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 61-156.
  13. Asadul Islam & Jaai Parasnis & Dietrich Fausten, 2013. "Do Immigrants Save Less than Natives? Immigrant and Native Saving Behaviour in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 89(284), pages 52-71, 03.
  14. Attanasio, Orazio P & Weber, Guglielmo, 1994. "The UK Consumption Boom of the Late 1980s: Aggregate Implications of Microeconomic Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1269-1302, November.
  15. Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1996. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Discussion Papers 96-01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  16. repec:uwp:jhriss:v:8:y:1973:i:4:p:436-455 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Laura Berger-Thomson & Elaine Chung & Rebecca McKibbin, 2009. "Estimating Marginal Propensities to Consume in Australia Using Micro Data," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2009-07, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  18. Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2011. "Viewpoint: Further results on measuring the well-being of the poor using income and consumption," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(1), pages 52-87, February.
  19. Callan Windsor & Jarkko P. Jääskelä & Richard Finlay, 2015. "Housing Wealth Effects: Evidence from an Australian Panel," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 82(327), pages 552-577, 07.
  20. 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.
  21. José Mata & José A. F. Machado, 2005. "Counterfactual decomposition of changes in wage distributions using quantile regression," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 445-465.
  22. John Sabelhaus & Jeffrey A. Groen, 2000. "Can Permanent-Income Theory Explain Cross-Sectional Consumption Patterns?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 431-438, August.
  23. Finlay, Richard & Jääskelä, Jarkko P., 2014. "Credit supply shocks and the global financial crisis in three small open economies," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 270-276.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2014-03. 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: (Paula Drew)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.