Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #170

The Effect of Saving Subsidies on Household Saving – Evidence from Germany

by Giacomo Corneo, Matthias Keese and Carsten Schröder

University of Duisburg-Essen, RGS Econ, 05/2010, 48 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-190-6



Since 2002 the German government seeks to stimulate private retirement savings by means of special allowances and tax exemptions – the so-called Riester scheme. We apply matching and panel regression techniques to assess the impact of the Riester scheme on households’ propensities to save in a natural experiment framework. Estimation results from both the German Socio-Economic Panel and the SAVE Study indicate that private saving was hardly affected by the Riester scheme.

JEL-Classification: D12, D14, H24, H31

Keywords: Household saving; saving incentives; retirement; Riester scheme; Coarsened Exact Matching