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Culture and household saving

Benjamin Guin

No 2069, Working Paper Series from European Central Bank

Abstract: This paper examines the role of culture in households saving decisions. Exploiting the historical language borders within Switzerland, I isolate the effect of households’ exposure to certain language groups from economic, institutional, demographic and geographic factors for a homogeneous and representative sample of households. The analysis uses the Swiss Household Panel which I complement with geographic and socio-economic data. I show that low- and middle-income households located in the German-speaking part are more than 11 percentage points more likely to save than similar households in the French-speaking part. In line with the existing literature, I show that these differences across language regions are consistent with different distributions of time preferences. By contrast, I do not find clear evidence for risk sharing during times of financial distress. JEL Classification: Z1, D12, E21, D91

Keywords: culture; household economics; household finance; language; saving (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dcm and nep-eur
Date: 2017-05
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