IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/bubdp1/5193.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Precautionary saving and income uncertainty in Germany - new evidence from microdata

Author

Listed:
  • Bartzsch, Nikolaus

Abstract

The saving ratio of households in Germany has increased in the past few years when the income trend was weak. This could be due to precautionary saving. In this paper, the importance of precautionary saving against income uncertainty is analyzed empirically using micro data from the German Socio- Economic Panel Study (GSOEP). Wealth in 2002 is regressed on alternative measures of income uncertainty in a cross-section of households. In addition to the usual controls, risk aversion is also taken into account. When using net financial wealth, precautionary saving is statistically significant and economically quite important. The share of precautionary net financial wealth in total aggregate net financial wealth is on average about 20%. Compared with net financial wealth, housing wealth is not used as a buffer stock against income uncertainty, confirming the hypothesis that this kind of asset is rather illiquid.

Suggested Citation

  • Bartzsch, Nikolaus, 2006. "Precautionary saving and income uncertainty in Germany - new evidence from microdata," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2006,44, Deutsche Bundesbank.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:5193
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/19673/1/200644dkp.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Moriizumi, Yoko, 2003. "Targeted saving by renters for housing purchase in Japan," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 494-509, May.
    2. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1054, July.
    3. Fatih Guvenen, 2009. "An Empirical Investigation of Labor Income Processes," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 58-79, January.
    4. Miles Kimball & Philippe Weil, 2009. "Precautionary Saving and Consumption Smoothing across Time and Possibilities," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(2‐3), pages 245-284, March.
    5. Mark Kazarosian, 1997. "Precautionary Savings-A Panel Study," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(2), pages 241-247, May.
    6. Thomas Bauer & Mathias Sinning, 2011. "The savings behavior of temporary and permanent migrants in Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(2), pages 421-449, April.
    7. John Bound & David A. Jaeger & Regina Baker, 1993. "The Cure Can Be Worse than the Disease: A Cautionary Tale Regarding Instrumental Variables," NBER Technical Working Papers 0137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Lusardi, Annamaria, 1997. "Precautionary saving and subjective earnings variance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 319-326, December.
    9. Stephen P. Zeldes, 1989. "Optimal Consumption with Stochastic Income: Deviations from Certainty Equivalence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 275-298.
    10. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 511, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    11. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1992. "Earnings uncertainty and precautionary saving," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 307-337, November.
    12. MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
    13. Christopher D. Carroll, 1997. "Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 1-55.
    14. Christopher D. Carroll & Andrew A. Samwick, 1998. "How Important Is Precautionary Saving?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 410-419, August.
    15. Hendrik Jurges, 2001. "Do Germans Save to Leave an Estate? An Examination of the Bequest Motive," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(3), pages 391-414, September.
    16. Guiso, Luigi & Paiella, Monica, 2004. "The Role of Risk Aversion in Predicting Individual Behaviours," CEPR Discussion Papers 4591, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. repec:zbw:rwidps:0029 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Christopher D. Carroll & Miles S. Kimball, 2006. "Precautionary Saving and Precautionary Wealth," Economics Working Paper Archive 530, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    19. Schunk, Daniel, 2007. "What determines the saving behavior of German households? : an examination of saving motives and saving decisions," Papers 07-10, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    20. Donkers, Bas & van Soest, Arthur, 1999. "Subjective measures of household preferences and financial decisions," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 613-642, December.
    21. Schüssler, Reinhard & Lang, Oliver & Buslei, Hermann, 2000. "Wohlstandsverteilung in Deutschland 1978-1993," Study / edition der Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, Düsseldorf, volume 34, number 34, September.
    22. Murata, Keiko, 2003. "Precautionary Savings and Income Uncertainty: Evidence from Japanese Micro Data," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 21(3), pages 21-52, October.
    23. Carroll, Christopher D. & Samwick, Andrew A., 1997. "The nature of precautionary wealth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 41-71, September.
    24. Baker, Michael, 1997. "Growth-Rate Heterogeneity and the Covariance Structure of Life-Cycle Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 338-375, April.
    25. Fatih Guvenen, 2007. "Learning Your Earning: Are Labor Income Shocks Really Very Persistent?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 687-712, June.
    26. Engen, Eric M. & Gruber, Jonathan, 2001. "Unemployment insurance and precautionary saving," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 545-579, June.
    27. Eric M. Engen & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "Unemployment Insurance and Precautionary Saving," NBER Working Papers 5252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    28. Skinner, Jonathan, 1988. "Risky income, life cycle consumption, and precautionary savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 237-255, September.
    29. Lothar Essig, 2005. "Precautionary saving and old-age provisions: Do subjective saving motive measures work?," MEA discussion paper series 05084, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    30. Horioka, Charles Yuji & Watanabe, Wako, 1997. "Why Do People Save? A Micro-Analysis of Motives for Household Saving in Japan," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(442), pages 537-552, May.
    31. Hause, John C, 1980. "The Fine Structure of Earnings and the On-the-Job Training Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 1013-1029, May.
    32. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2012. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Risk and Trust Attitudes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 645-677.
    33. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Reil-Held, Anette & Rodepeter, Ralf & Schnabel, Reinhold & Winter, Joachim, 1999. "Ersparnisbildung in Deutschland : Meßkonzepte und Ergebnisse auf Basis der EVS," Papers 99-02, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    34. Luigi Pistaferri, 2001. "Superior Information, Income Shocks, And The Permanent Income Hypothesis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 465-476, August.
    35. Topel, Robert H, 1991. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 145-176, February.
    36. Caballero, Ricardo J, 1991. "Earnings Uncertainty and Aggregate Wealth Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 859-871, September.
    37. Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln, 2008. "The Response of Household Saving to the Large Shock of German Reunification," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2008-21, Center for Retirement Research, revised Dec 2008.
    38. Abowd, John M & Card, David, 1989. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 411-445, March.
    39. Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln & Matthias Schündeln, 2005. "Precautionary Savings and Self-Selection: Evidence from the German Reunification "Experiment" Abstract: We combine particular features of the German civil service with the unique event of Ge," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1085-1120.
    40. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/8704 is not listed on IDEAS
    41. Topel, Robert, 1990. "Specific capital and unemployment: Measuring the costs and consequences of job loss," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 181-214, January.
    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. Schunk, Daniel, 2007. "What determines the saving behavior of German households? : an examination of saving motives and saving decisions," Papers 07-10, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    2. Orland, Andreas & Rostam-Afschar, Davud, 2021. "Flexible work arrangements and precautionary behavior: Theory and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 191(C), pages 442-481.
    3. Nikolaus Bartzsch, 2006. "Vorsichtssparen und Einkommensunsicherheit privater Haushalte in Deutschland: eine ökonometrische Untersuchung auf Basis von SOEP-Daten," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 75(4), pages 109-120.
    4. Robin Jessen & Davud Rostam-Afschar & Sebastian Schmitz, 2018. "How important is precautionary labour supply?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 868-891.
    5. Schäfer, Konrad C., 2016. "The Influence of Personality Traits on Private Retirement Savings in Germany," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-580, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    6. Späth Jochen & Schmid Kai Daniel, 2018. "The Distribution of Household Savings in Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 238(1), pages 3-32, February.
    7. Michele Limosani & Emanuele Millemaci, 2014. "Precautionary savings of agents with heterogeneous risk aversion," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(20), pages 2342-2361, July.
    8. Fritz Breuss & Serguei Kaniovski & Margit Schratzenstaller, 2009. "Gesamtwirtschaftliche Auswirkungen der Konjunkturpakete I und II und der Steuerreform 2009," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 36361, November.
    9. Marcus Klemm, 2012. "Job Security Perceptions and the Saving Behavior of German Households," Ruhr Economic Papers 0380, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    10. Clovis Kerdrain & Isabell Koske & Isabelle Wanner, 2010. "The Impact of Structural Policies on Saving, Investment and Current Accounts," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 815, OECD Publishing.
    11. repec:zbw:rwirep:0379 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Klemm, Marcus, 2012. "Job Security Perceptions and the Saving Behavior of German Households," Ruhr Economic Papers 380, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    13. Marcus Klemm, 2012. "Job Security and Fertility: Evidence from German Reunification," Ruhr Economic Papers 0379, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    14. Clovis Kerdrain & Isabell Koske & Isabelle Wanner, 2011. "Current Account Imbalances: can Structural Reforms Help to Reduce Them?," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2011(1), pages 1-44.
    15. Klemm, Marcus, 2012. "Job Security and Fertility: Evidence from German Reunification," Ruhr Economic Papers 379, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    16. van Treeck, Till. & Sturn, Simon., 2012. "Income inequality as a cause of the Great Recession? : A survey of current debates," ILO Working Papers 994709343402676, International Labour Organization.
    17. Duval, Romain & Furceri, Davide & Tovar Jalles, João, 2022. "Labor and product market reforms and external Imbalances: Evidence from advanced economies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 121(C).
    18. repec:zbw:rwirep:0380 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Konrad C. Schäfer, 2016. "The Influence of Personality Traits on Private Retirement Savings in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 867, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    20. Willem Vanlaer & Samantha Bielen & Wim Marneffe, 2020. "Consumer Confidence and Household Saving Behaviors: A Cross-Country Empirical Analysis," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 147(2), pages 677-721, January.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Erik Hurst & Arthur Kennickell & Annamaria Lusardi & Francisco Torralba, 2005. "Precautionary Savings and the Importance of Business Owners," NBER Working Papers 11731, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Schunk Daniel, 2009. "What Determines Household Saving Behavior: An Examination of Saving Motives and Saving Decisions 06.01.2009," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 229(4), pages 467-491, August.
    3. Carroll, Christopher D. & Samwick, Andrew A., 1997. "The nature of precautionary wealth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 41-71, September.
    4. Essig, Lothar, 2005. "Precautionary saving and old-age provisions : do subjective saving motives measures work?," Papers 05-22, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    5. repec:zbw:cfswop:wp200616 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Meghir, Costas & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2011. "Earnings, Consumption and Life Cycle Choices," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 9, pages 773-854, Elsevier.
    7. Schunk, Daniel, 2007. "What determines the saving behavior of German households? : an examination of saving motives and saving decisions," Papers 07-10, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    8. Hamish Low & Costas Meghir & Luigi Pistaferri, 2010. "Wage Risk and Employment Risk over the Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1432-1467, September.
    9. Lothar Essig, 2005. "Precautionary saving and old-age provisions: Do subjective saving motive measures work?," MEA discussion paper series 05084, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    10. Johannes Geyer, 2011. "The Effect of Health and Employment Risks on Precautionary Savings," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 408, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    11. Luc Arrondel & Hector Calvo Pardo, 2008. "Les Français sont-ils prudents ? Patrimoine et risque sur les revenus des ménages," Working Papers halshs-00585994, HAL.
    12. Carroll, Christopher D. & Kimball, Miles S., 2006. "Precautionary Saving and Precautionary Wealth," CFS Working Paper Series 2006/02, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    13. Arthur Kennickell & Annamaria Lusardi, 2004. "Disentangling the Importance of the Precautionary Saving Mode," NBER Working Papers 10888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Engen, Eric M. & Gruber, Jonathan, 2001. "Unemployment insurance and precautionary saving," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 545-579, June.
    15. Essig, Lothar, 2004. "Precautionary saving and old-age provisions: Do subjective saving motives measures work?," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 05-22, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    16. Lugilde, Alba & Bande, Roberto & Riveiro, Dolores, 2017. "Precautionary Saving: a review of the theory and the evidence," MPRA Paper 77511, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Michele Limosani & Emanuele Millemaci, 2014. "Precautionary savings of agents with heterogeneous risk aversion," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(20), pages 2342-2361, July.
    18. Masakatsu Okubo, 2015. "Earnings Dynamics and Profile Heterogeneity: Estimates from Japanese Panel Data," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 66(1), pages 112-146, March.
    19. Marcus Klemm, 2012. "Job Security Perceptions and the Saving Behavior of German Households," Ruhr Economic Papers 0380, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    20. Alba Lugilde & Roberto Bande & Dolores Riveiro, 2018. "Precautionary saving in Spain during the great recession: evidence from a panel of uncertainty indicators," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 1151-1179, December.
    21. Rodepeter, Ralf & Winter, Joachim, 1998. "Savings decisions under life-time and earnings uncertainty : empirical evidence from West German household data," Papers 98-58, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    precautionary saving; precautionary wealth; buffer-stock model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

    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:zbw:bubdp1:5193. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dbbgvde.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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dbbgvde.html .

    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.