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Do Wealthier Households Save More? The Impact of the Demographic Factor

  • Ansgar Belke
  • Christian Dreger
  • Richard Ochmann

This paper investigates the relationship between wealth, ageing and saving behaviour of private households by using pooled cross sections of German consumption survey data. Different components of wealth are distinguished, as their impact on the savings rate is not homogeneous. On average, the effect attributed to real estate dominates the other components of wealth. In addition, the savings rate strongly responds to demographic trends. Besides the direct impact of the age structure, an indirect effect arises through the accumulation of wealth. The savings rate does not decrease with age in a monotonic way, as the permanent income hypothesis suggests. Most prominently, older households tend to increase their savings in the second half of their retirement period, probably due to bequest motives and increasing immobility. Given the ongoing demographic trend, an increase of 1.4 percentage points in the aggregated savings rate should be expected over the next two decades.

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File URL: http://www.rome-net.org/RePEc/rmn/wpaper/rome-wp-2012-03.pdf
File Function: First version, 2012
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by ROME Network in its series ROME Working Papers with number 201203.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rmn:wpaper:2012103
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.rome-net.org

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  1. Dreger, Christian & Reimers, Hans-Eggert, 2011. "The long run relationship between private consumption and wealth: common and idiosyncratic effects," Discussion Papers 295, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
  2. Christopher D Carroll, 2001. "Precautionary Saving and the Marginal Propensity To Consume Out of Permanent Income," Economics Working Paper Archive 445, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Aug 2009.
  3. Martin Beznoska & Richard Ochmann, 2013. "The interest elasticity of household savings: a structural approach with German micro data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 371-399, August.
  4. Andrew B. Abel, 2003. "The Effects of a Baby Boom on Stock Prices and Capital Accumulation in the Presence of Social Security," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(2), pages 551-578, March.
  5. Belke, Ansgar & Dreger, Christian, 2011. "Current account imbalances in the euro area: Catching up or competitiveness?," Discussion Papers 297, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
  6. James Poterba, 2004. "The Impact of Population Aging on Financial Markets," NBER Working Papers 10851, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Author-Name: John Geanakoplos & Michael Magill & Martine Quinzii, 2004. "Demography and the Long-Run Predictability of the Stock Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(1), pages 241-326.
  8. Axel B�Rsch-Supan & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2006. "Ageing, Pension Reform and Capital Flows: A Multi-Country Simulation Model," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(292), pages 625-658, November.
  9. Garner, Thesia I. & Short, Kathleen, 2009. "Accounting for owner-occupied dwelling services: Aggregates and distributions," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 233-248, September.
  10. Fehr, Hans & Kallweit, Manuel & Kindermann, Fabian, 2012. "Pension reform with variable retirement age: a simulation analysis for Germany," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(03), pages 389-417, July.
  11. Feroli, Michael, 2006. "Demography and the U.S. current account deficit," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 1-16, March.
  12. Higgins, Matthew, 1998. "Demography, National Savings, and International Capital Flows," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 343-69, May.
  13. Bloom, David E. & Canning, David & Mansfield, Richard K. & Moore, Michael, 2007. "Demographic change, social security systems, and savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 92-114, January.
  14. Ang, Andrew & Maddaloni, Angela, 2003. "Do demographic changes affect risk premiums? Evidence from international data," Working Paper Series 0208, European Central Bank.
  15. James M. Poterba, 2004. "Impact of population aging on financial markets in developed countries," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q IV, pages 43-53.
  16. 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.
  17. David Demery & Nigel Duck, 2006. "Demographic change and the UK savings rate," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(2), pages 119-136.
  18. Ansgar Belke & Christian Dreger, 2013. "Current Account Imbalances in the Euro Area: Does Catching up Explain the Development?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 6-17, 02.
  19. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1997. "The effects of economic and population growth on national saving and inequality," Demography, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 97-114, February.
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