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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
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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. Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1995. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-02, McMaster University.
  2. 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.
  3. Axel Börsch-Supan & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2004. "Aging, Pension Reform, and Capital Flows: A Multi-Country Simulation Model," MEA discussion paper series 04064, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  4. James Poterba, 2004. "The Impact of Population Aging on Financial Markets," NBER Working Papers 10851, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ansgar Belke & Christian Dreger, 2011. "Current Account Imbalances in the Euro Area: Catching up or Competitiveness?," Ruhr Economic Papers 0241, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
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  8. John Geanakoplos & Michael Magill & Martine Quinzii, 2002. "Demography and the Long-run Predictability of the Stock Market," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1380, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Christian Dreger & Hans-Eggert Reimers, 2012. "The long run relationship between private consumption and wealth: common and idiosyncratic effects," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 21-34, April.
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  11. Andrew B. Abel, 2002. "The Effects of a Baby Boom on Stock Prices and Capital Accumulation in the Presence of Social Security," NBER Working Papers 9210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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.
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  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. David Demery & Nigel Duck, 2006. "Demographic change and the UK savings rate," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(2), pages 119-136.
  19. 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.
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