Household Savings in Germany

Börsch-Supan, Axel ; Reil-Held, Anette ; Rodepeter, Ralf ; Schnabel, Reinhold ; Winter, Joachim

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-10341
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2000
The title of a journal, publication series: Discussion Papers / Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik
Volume: 577
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Law and Economics > Sonstige - Fakultät für Rechtswissenschaft und Volkswirtschaftslehre
MADOC publication series: Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik > Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Subject headings (SWD): Deutschland , Haushalt , Einkommens- und Verbrauchsstichprobe , Rente
Abstract: This paper describes how German households save, and how their saving behavior is linked to public policy, notably pension policy. Our analysis is based on a synthetic panel of four cross sections of the German Income and Expenditure Survey ("Einkommens- und Verbrauchsstichproben," EVS), 1978, 1983, 1988 and 1993. The paper carefully distinguishes among several saving measures and concepts. It separates discretionary savings from mandatory savings, and uses two flow measures, namely first the sum of purchases of assets minus the sum of sales of assets, and second the residual of income minus consumption. Our main finding is a hump-shaped age-saving profile. However, savings remain positive in old age, even for most low income households. The generous mandatory German public pension system is a prime candidate to explain this pattern.
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