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Benjamin Guin

24 May 2017
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2069
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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 Code
Z1 : Other Special Topics→Cultural Economics, Economic Sociology, Economic Anthropology
D12 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
E21 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Consumption, Saving, Wealth
D91 : Microeconomics→Intertemporal Choice→Intertemporal Household Choice, Life Cycle Models and Saving
Network
Household Finance and Consumption Network (HFCN)