The Economic Security of Polish Households in Light of Research Findings
 
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Publish date: 2006-04-30
 
Gospodarka Narodowa 2006;207(4):69–85
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ABSTRACT
The article analyzes the implications of consumerism and rampant spending in the context of the pension system reform designed to stimulate saving among households. The author used the results of an empirical study carried out by direct interview on a random sample of 1,305 households at the end of 2004 (with the “no-data” indicator under 13 percent). The results obtained in the survey confirm the Keynesian view that the saving preferences of households and their economic security policies depend on income. Households with relatively higher incomes more often declare possession of spare funds and the possibility of saving. However, the survey also confirmed the accuracy of a view in economic psychology involving unrestrained spending among some groups of society. The study shows that households with incomes sufficient to permit saving generally fall into two categories with different consumption preferences. Households prone to saving and with a higher socioeconomic status—mostly newly established families and those at an advanced stage of family life—usually display a preference for deferred gratification and extended consumption, with a saving rate proportional to income. Such households tend to behave in accordance with the Life-Cycle Hypothesis, with the income factor as the main determinant of the level of saving. The remaining households display a preference for immediate consumption and their saving rate is out of proportion with income. These households generally show no restraint in the management of their financial resources and their behaviors are out of step with the economic theory of saving. They act according to the Behavioral Life-Cycle Hypothesis under which one’s spending and saving preferences are dominated by emotional factors.
eISSN:2300-5238
ISSN:0867-0005