Date of Original Version
Human Development and Family Studies
Based on precautionary saving motives, this research develops a three-period life-cycle model to manifest the impact of housing prices on household savings in urban China. The theoretical model illustrates that the expected appreciation of housing prices at a household’s middle age leads to the increase in household savings at a household’s young age. Second, household savings at a household’s young age are positively associated with both expected educational and medical expenditures in a household’s middle age and pension expenditures at a household’s old age. Third, the expected housing prices crowd out educational and medical expenditures at a household’s middle age. With the panel data sets of China’s 31 provinces during 1996–2016, results suggest that the expected housing prices significantly interact with the current household savings. However, the influence of the expected housing prices on the current household savings is greater than that of the current household savings on the expected housing prices. Third, the expected expenditures of education, medical care and pension fuel up the current household savings. Meanwhile, the housing prices crowd out the expenditures of education, medical care and pension. Finally, data of the Urban Household Survey (UHS) over the period 2002–2007 show that the household head age has an effect of reverse U-shape on household savings. Accordingly, to prevent a housing bubble and promote household consumption, policy makers should curb housing price inflation by enacting appropriate countercyclical housing policies.
Weida Kuang, Tao Li & Jingjian Xiao (2020) Housing prices and household savings: evidence from urban China,Economic and Political Studies, 8:1, 96-114, DOI: 10.1080/20954816.2019.1699722