IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/spo/wpmain/infohdl2441-5e8993t1rs83t9os9ctp26bhfv.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The One-Child Policy and Household Savings

Author

Listed:
  • Taha Choukhmane

    (Yale University)

  • Nicolas Coeurdacier

    (Département d'économie)

  • Keyu Jin

    (London School of Economics and Political Science)

Abstract

We investigate how the `one-child policy' has impacted China's household saving rate and human capital in the last three decades. In a life cycle model with endogenous fertility, intergenerational transfers and human capital accumulation, we show how fertility restrictions provide incentives for households to increase their offspring's education and to accumulate financial wealth in expectation of lower support from their children. Our quantitative OLG model calibrated to household level data shows that the policy significantly increased the human capital of the only child generation and can account for a third to 60% of the rise in aggregate savings. Equally important, it can capture much of the distinct shift in the level and shape of the age-saving profile observed from micro-level data estimates. Using the birth of twins (born under the one child policy) as an exogenous deviation from the policy, we provide an empirical out-of-sample check to our quantitative results; estimates on savings and education decisions are decidedly close between model and data.

Suggested Citation

  • Taha Choukhmane & Nicolas Coeurdacier & Keyu Jin, 2014. "The One-Child Policy and Household Savings," Sciences Po publications 9688, Sciences Po.
  • Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/5e8993t1rs83t9os9ctp26bhfv
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://spire.sciencespo.fr/hdl:/2441/5e8993t1rs83t9os9ctp26bhfv/resources/wp-one-child-policy.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri, 2013. "The International Diversification Puzzle Is Not as Bad as You Think," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(6), pages 1108-1159.
    2. Esther Duflo, 2003. "Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old-Age Pensions and Intrahousehold Allocation in South Africa," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(1), pages 1-25, June.
    3. Franco Modigliani & Shi Larry Cao, 2004. "The Chinese Saving Puzzle and the Life-Cycle Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 145-170, March.
    4. Nicolas Coeurdacier & Stéphane Guibaud & Keyu Jin, 2015. "Credit Constraints and Growth in a Global Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(9), pages 2838-2881, September.
    5. Gary S. Becker & H. Gregg Lewis, 1974. "Interaction between Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 81-90, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Dennis Tao Yang & Junsen Zhang & Shaojie Zhou, 2012. "Why Are Saving Rates So High in China?," NBER Chapters, in: Capitalizing China, pages 249-278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Hongbin Li & Junsen Zhang & Yi Zhu, 2008. "The quantity-Quality trade-Off of children In a developing country: Identification using chinese twins," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 45(1), pages 223-243, February.
    8. 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.
    9. Carroll, Christopher D. & Weil, David N., 1994. "Saving and growth: a reinterpretation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 133-192, June.
    10. 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.
    11. Guonan Ma & Wang Yi, 2010. "China’s High Saving Rate: Myth and Reality," International Economics, CEPII research center, issue 122, pages 5-39.
    12. Shang-Jin Wei & Xiaobo Zhang, 2011. "The Competitive Saving Motive: Evidence from Rising Sex Ratios and Savings Rates in China," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(3), pages 511-564.
    13. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    14. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 2000. "Growth and Saving Among Individuals and Households," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 212-225, May.
    15. Newman, John L, 1983. "Economic Analyses of the Spacing of Births," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 33-37, May.
    16. 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.
    17. Yi Wen, 2011. "Making sense of China’s excessive foreign reserves," Working Papers 2011-006, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    18. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1980. "Testing the Quantity-Quality Fertility Model: The Use of Twins as a Natural Experiment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 227-240, January.
    19. Rupa Chakrabarti, 1999. "Endogenous fertility and growth in a model with old age support," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 13(2), pages 393-416.
    20. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2010. "Multiple Experiments for the Causal Link between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(4), pages 773-824, October.
    21. Cigno, Alessandro & Rosati, Furio C., 1996. "Jointly determined saving and fertility behaviour: Theory, and estimates for Germany, Italy, UK and USA," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1561-1589, November.
    22. Browning, Martin, 1992. "Children and Household Economic Behavior," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1434-1475, September.
    23. Gourieroux, Christian & Monfort, Alain & Trognon, Alain, 1984. "Pseudo Maximum Likelihood Methods: Applications to Poisson Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 701-720, May.
    24. Andrew Chesher, 1997. "Diet Revealed?: Semiparametric Estimation of Nutrient Intake–Age Relationships," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 160(3), pages 389-428, September.
    25. Edlund, Lena & Li, Hongbin & Yi, Junjian & Zhang, Junsen, 2007. "Sex Ratios and Crime: Evidence from China’s One-Child Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 3214, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    26. 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.
    27. Barbara Sianesi & John Van Reenen, 2000. "The Returns to Education: A Review of the Macro-Economic Literature," CEE Discussion Papers 0006, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    28. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri, 2013. "The International Diversification Puzzle Is Not as Bad as You Think," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(6), pages 1108-1159.
    29. Raut, L K & Srinivasan, T N, 1994. "Dynamics of Endogenous Growth," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 4(5), pages 777-790, August.
    30. Andrew Chesher, 1998. "Individual demands from household aggregates: time and age variation in the composition of diet," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(5), pages 505-524.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Doepke, M. & Tertilt, M., 2016. "Families in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 1789-1891, Elsevier.
    2. Suárez Serrato, Juan Carlos & Wang, Xiao Yu & Zhang, Shuang, 2019. "The limits of meritocracy: Screening bureaucrats under imperfect verifiability," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 223-241.
    3. Andrés Fernández & Ayşe İmrohoroğlu & Cesar E. Tamayo, 2019. "Saving Rates in Latin America: A Neoclassical Perspective," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 67(4), pages 791-823, December.
    4. Zhang, Yu & Miranda, Mario J., "undated". "A Life Cycle Model of Childbearing and Saving Decisions with Incomplete Financial Markets and Sex Selection," 2017 Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, Chicago, Illinois 259932, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Abhijit Banerjee & Xin Meng & Tommaso Porzio & Nancy Qian, 2014. "Aggregate Fertility and Household Savings: A General Equilibrium Analysis using Micro Data," Working Papers id:5799, eSocialSciences.
    6. Nicolas Coeurdacier & Stéphane Guibaud & Keyu Jin, 2015. "Credit Constraints and Growth in a Global Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(9), pages 2838-2881, September.
    7. Nicolas Coeurdacier & Stéphane Guibaud & Keyu Jin, 2014. "Fertility Policies and Social Security Reforms in China," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 62(3), pages 371-408, August.
    8. Ingvild Almås & Eleonora Freddi & Øystein Thøgersen, 2020. "Saving and Bequest in China: An Analysis of Intergenerational Exchange," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 87(345), pages 249-281, January.
    9. Mark Rosenzweig & Junsen Zhang, 2014. "Co-residence, Life-Cycle Savings and Inter- Generational Support in Urban China," Working Papers 1039, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    10. Oliveira, Jaqueline, 2016. "The value of children: Inter-generational support, fertility, and human capital," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 1-16.
    11. Jane Golley & Rod Tyers & Yixiao Zhou, 2018. "Fertility and savings contractions in China: Long‐run global implications," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(11), pages 3194-3220, November.
    12. İmrohoroğlu, Ayşe & Zhao, Kai, 2018. "The chinese saving rate: Long-term care risks, family insurance, and demographics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 33-52.
    13. Zhongchen Song & Tom Coupé & W. Robert Reed, 2019. "The One-Child Policy and Chinese Saving Behavior," Working Papers in Economics 19/10, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
    14. Atella, Vincenzo & Brugiavini, Agar & Pace, Noemi, 2015. "The health care system reform in China: Effects on out-of-pocket expenses and saving," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 182-195.
    15. de Silva, Tiloka & Tenreyro, Silvana, 2017. "The large fall in global fertility: A quantitative model," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86157, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    16. Jane Golley & Rod Tyers & Yixiao Zhou, 2016. "Contractions in Chinese Fertility and Savings: Long-run Domestic and Global Implications," RBA Annual Conference Volume (Discontinued), in: Iris Day & John Simon (ed.), Structural Change in China: Implications for Australia and the World, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    17. Chen, Qihui, 2017. "Relaxed population policy, family size and parental investments in children’s education in rural Northwestern China," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 39-50.
    18. Zhou, Weina, 2014. "Brothers, household financial markets and savings rate in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 34-47.
    19. Jaqueline Oliveira, 2019. "Birth order and the gender gap in educational attainment," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 775-803, September.
    20. Steven Lugauer & Jinlan Ni & Zhichao Yin, 2014. "Micro-Data Evidence on Family Size and Chinese Saving Rates," Working Papers 023, University of Notre Dame, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2014.
    21. Curtis, Chadwick C. & Lugauer, Steven & Mark, Nelson C., 2017. "Demographics and aggregate household saving in Japan, China, and India," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 175-191.
    22. Cubizol, Damien, 2018. "Transition and capital misallocation: the Chinese case," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 88-115.
    23. Howden, David & Zhou, Yang, 2014. "Unintended Consequences of China´s One-Child Policy," MPRA Paper 79607, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    24. İmrohoroğlu, Ayşe & Zhao, Kai, 2018. "Intergenerational transfers and China’s social security reform," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 11(C), pages 62-70.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Life Cycle Savings ; Fertility; Human Capital;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/5e8993t1rs83t9os9ctp26bhfv. 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: (Spire @ Sciences Po Library). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ecspofr.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.