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The decline in the U.S. personal saving rate: is it real and is it a puzzle?

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Author Info

  • Massimo Guidolin
  • Elizabeth A. La Jeunesse

Abstract

Since the mid-1990s, the national income and product accounts personal saving rate for the United States has been trending down, dropping into negative territory for three months during the past two years. This paper examines measurement problems surrounding two of the standard definitions of the personal saving rate. The authors conclude that, despite these measurement problems, the recent decline of the U.S. personal saving rate to low levels seems to be a real economic phenomenon and may be a cause for concern for several reasons. After examining several possible explanations for the trend advanced in the recent literature, the authors conclude that none of them provides a compelling explanation for the steep decline and negative levels of the U.S. personal saving rate.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its journal Review.

Volume (Year): (2007)
Issue (Month): Nov ()
Pages: 491-514

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2007:i:nov:p:491-514:n:v.89no.6

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Related research

Keywords: Consumer behavior ; Saving and investment;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jon D. Wisman & Barton Baker, 2011. "Rising Inequality and the Financial Crises of 1929 and 2008," Working Papers 2011-01 JEL classificatio, American University, Department of Economics.
  2. Antonio, Paradiso, 2010. "Long-term interest rates, asset prices, and personal saving ratio: Evidence from the 1990s," MPRA Paper 26754, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Tam, Leona & Dholakia, Utpal M., 2011. "Delay and duration effects of time frames on personal savings estimates and behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 142-152, March.
  4. Shoshana Amyra Grossbard & Alfredo Marvao Pereira, 2010. "Will Women Save more than Men? A Theoretical Model of Savings and Marriage," CESifo Working Paper Series 3146, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Till van Treeck, 2008. "The political economy debate on ‘financialisation’ – a macroeconomic perspective," IMK Working Paper 01-2008, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
  6. Stein, Jerome L., 2009. "A tale of two debt crises: a stochastic optimal control analysis," Economics Discussion Papers 2009-44, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  7. Riccardo Fiorentini, 2011. "Global Imbalances, the International Crisis and the Role of the Dollar," Working Papers 18/2011, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  8. Jon D. Wisman & Barton Baker, 2009. "Increasing Inequality, Status Insecurity, Ideology, and the Financial Crisis of 2008," Working Papers 2009-14 JEL classificatio, American University, Department of Economics.
  9. Till van Treeck, 2012. "Did inequality cause the U.S. financial crisis?," IMK Working Paper 91-2012, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
  10. Till van Treeck, 2008. "Asymmetric income and wealth effects in a non-linear error correction model of US consumer spending," IMK Working Paper 06-2008, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
  11. Shoshana Amyra Grossbard & Alfredo Marvão Pereira, 2013. "Savings and Economies of Marriage: Intra-Marriage Financial Distributions as Determinants of Savings," Working Papers 95, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  12. Paradiso, Antonio & Rao, B. Bhaskara, 2011. "What Caused the Decline in the US Saving Ratio?," MPRA Paper 28023, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Bunting, David, 2009. "The saving decline: Macro-facts, micro-behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 282-295, May.

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