Research on the impact of China’s population age structure on endogenous resident saving

MA Shucai1 SONG Qi2 FU Yunpeng3

(1.Institute of Economic Statistics and Econometric Analysis, Liaoning University)
(2.College of Information, Liaoning University;)
(3.School of Economics, Liaoning University)

【Abstract】The paper studies the impact of Chinese age structure changes on resident savings by using the endogenous resident savings function, which is constructed on the extended continuous overlapping generations (COLG) model. The theoretical analysis shows that children’s dependency ratio and the elderly dependency ratio have a U-shaped relationship with the resident saving rate. The empirical analysis of China's provincial dynamic panel data model finds that children’s dependency ratio has a U-shaped dynamic relationship with the resident saving rate, which is consistent with the results of the theoretical model analysis and can be completely interpreted by parents expectations of income and expenditure. However, both the elderly dependency ratio and the total dependency ratio have an inverted U-shaped relationship with the resident saving rate, which is related to the fact that China's social security system reform still lags behind and has not performed well. Therefore, changing the resident savings preferences, reducing the family dependency burden and increasing the social security rate and its level are necessary to reduce the current rate of resident savings, expand domestic demand and promote the economic growth.

【Keywords】 population age structure; life-cycle model; overlapping generations model; dynamic panel data model;


【Funds】 Youth Project of National Social Science Foundation of China (13CRK027).

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(Translated by ZHONG Yehong)


    [1]. ① According to Yaari (1965), the individual utility is influenced by not only preferences but also the uncertain death risk. [^Back]

    [2]. ② Here, intertemporal substitution elasticity σ ≠ 1. If intertemporal substitution elasticity is 1 and assuming that the utility is U[c (v, t)] = ln[c (v, t)], the subsequent calculations will be simplified with the basic conclusion unchanged. [^Back]

    [3]. ① Due to the lack of authoritative data of the dependency expenses for the children by the parents and the maintenance expenses for the elderly people by the children, this paper estimates the data according to the law provisions. According to Article 37 of Marriage Law of the People's Republic of China, the living, education and health care of the children after their parents’ divorce should be paid with 20% ~ 30% of their dependency fees. This paper takes the average value of expenditure dependency ratios as 25%. [^Back]

    [4]. ② According to the regulations of "Marriage Law of People's Republic of China," the maintenance expenditure of the elderly who have two and less children is calculated based on 50% of the portion of per capital monthly income of their children subtracted by the minimum subsistence level. In 2013, the per capita disposable income of Chinese urban residents was CNY 26,955.1; the per capita net income of rural residents was CNY 8895.9; the urban population was accounted for 53.73% of the total population; and the rural population was accounted for 46.27% of the total population. Due to the different levels of economic development of various regions, it has not yet introduced a unified national minimum living standard. According to the accessible data, in 2013, the monthly average income of most of the urban residents was CNY 300, and the average annual income of the rural residents was CNY 2000. After being weighted and averaged according to the proportion of the urban population to the rural population, the annual maintenance expenditure of the elderly population is CNY 6902.5, and accounted for 37.1% of the annual average income. [^Back]

    [5]. ③ To study the debt neutral problem, Buiter (1988) used the uncertain lifecycle approach by Yaari-Blanchard for reference. The constant population scale is changed to have non-negative fertility and mortality. The total number of socio-population can rise or fall with changes in fertility and mortality. [^Back]

    [6]. (1)设

    ,其中分别为使居民内生储蓄率最低的少儿人口和老年人口抚养比,若,则此时平面上存在两条不同位置的U形曲线,故当时,的符号无法直接判断。 [^Back]

    [7]. ② The number of the lagged phases of the resident saving rate is determined based on the significance of the lagged variables in the dynamic regression model and AR (2) test. [^Back]

    [8]. ③ Since the life expectancy data are published only in the census and sample surveys, the life expectancy data in the existing literatures are generally calculated (Yang and Zhang, 2013) or carried out with proxy (Fan and Zhu, 2012) according to the death rate. According to the actual calculation, this paper finds that the life expectancy analysis method Yang Jijun and Zhang Erzhen (2013) has the upward bias when it is used for inferring the data in recent years. Therefore, this paper chooses the death rate as a proxy variable of the life expectancy. [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 11-1043/C

Vol , No. 06, Pages 56-68+127

December 2015


Article Outline


  • 1 Research background
  • 2 Extension and analysis of theoretical model
  • 3 Empirical test and analyses
  • 4 Conclusion and suggestion
  • Footnote