Saving Behavior and Housing Wealth Evidence from German Micro Data

Sören Gröbel 2  and Dorothee Ihle 1
  • 1 Institute of Spatial and Housing Economics, University of Muenster, Münster, Germany
  • 2 Institute of Spatial and Housing Economics, University of Muenster, Münster, Germany
Sören Gröbel and Dorothee Ihle
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  • Institute of Spatial and Housing Economics, University of Muenster, Münster, Germany
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Housing property is the most important position in a household’s wealth portfolio. Even though there is strong evidence that house price cycles and saving patterns behave synchronously, the underlying causes remain controversial. The present paper examines if there is a wealth effect of house prices on savings using household-level panel data from the German Socio-Economic Panel for the period 1996-2012. We find that young homeowners decrease their savings in response to unanticipated house price shocks, whereas old households hardly respond to house price changes. Although effects are relatively low in magnitude, we interpret this as evidence of a housing wealth effect.

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The Journal of Economics and Statistics is a scientific journal published in Germany since 1863. The Journal publishes papers in all fields of economics and applied statistics. A specific focus is on papers combining theory with empirical analyses.