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The Decline in Private Saving Rates in the 1990s in OECD Countries: How Much Can Be Explained by Non-wealth Determinants?

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  • Florian Pelgrin
  • Alain de Serres

Abstract

The substantial decline in private-sector saving rates observed in several OECD countries in the late 1990s coincided in several cases with a sharp increase in household financial net worth. This was seen by many observers as evidence that the strong rise in equity and residential property prices during the late 1990s had been treated by households as a permanent increase in wealth, leading to an unsustainable drop in saving and raising fears of an eventual negative wealth effect. Applying estimation techniques for systems of dynamic panel equations, this paper looks at basic determinants of private saving for a sample of 15 OECD countries and finds that the sharp decline in saving observed after 1995 can be largely explained, even in a post-sample fashion, by fundamentals other than financial wealth. Among the determinants, the rise in public-sector saving is found to have contributed the most to the decline in private saving between 1995 and 2000. Based on this investigation, there is little evidence that consumers had gone too far in responding to the stock market boom of the late 1990s, even in countries where private saving rates have fallen to historically low levels. On the other hand, the results suggest that a loosening of fiscal policy may have a limited stimulatory impact on private consumption...

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eco_studies-v2003-art4-en
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by OECD Publishing in its journal OECD Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 2003 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 117-153

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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecokaa:5lmqcr2jgw47

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Cited by:
  1. Castro Campos M. de & Kool C.J.M. & Muysken J., 2013. "Cross-country private saving heterogeneity and culture," Research Memorandum 013, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
  2. António Afonso & Christophe Rault, 2008. "Budgetary and External Imbalances Relationship : a Panel Data Diagnostic," Working Papers Department of Economics 2008/45, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  3. Aleksandra Kolasa & Barbara Liberda, 2014. "Determinants of saving in Poland: Are they different than in other OECD countries?," Working Papers 2014-13, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
  4. El Mekkaoui de Freitas, Najat & Martins, Joaquim Oliveira, 2008. "Consumption Structure, Welfare Goods and Retirement Income: Linking the Ageing Puzzles," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/2343, Paris Dauphine University.
  5. Brittle, Shane, 2009. "Ricardian Equivalence and the Efficacy of Fiscal Policy in Australia," Economics Working Papers wp09-10, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
  6. Paul Hiebert, 2006. "Household Saving and Asset Valuations in Selected Industrialised Countries," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2006-07, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  7. Benjamin Wong & Kam Ki Tang, 2010. "The Ageing, Longevity and Crowding Out Effects on Private and Public Savings," CAMA Working Papers 2010-12, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  8. Clovis Kerdrain & Isabell Koske & Isabelle Wanner, 2011. "Current Account Imbalances: can Structural Reforms Help to Reduce Them?," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2011(1), pages 1-44.
  9. Volker Meinhardt & Katja Rietzler & Rudolf Zwiener, 2009. "Konjunktur und Rentenversicherung - gegenseitige Abhängigkeiten und mögliche Veränderungen durch diskretionäre Maßnahmen," IMK Studies 03-2009, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
  10. Clovis Kerdrain & Isabell Koske & Isabelle Wanner, 2010. "The Impact of Structural Policies on Saving, Investment and Current Accounts," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 815, OECD Publishing.
  11. Riccardo De Bonis & Daniele Fano & Teresa Sbano, 2013. "Household aggregate wealth in the main OECD countries from 1980 to 2011: what do the data tell us?," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 160, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  12. Jorgensen, Ole Hagen, 2011. "Macroeconomic and policy implications of population aging in Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5519, The World Bank.
  13. Maria Belén Zinni, 2013. "Identifying Drivers for the Accumulation of Household Financial Wealth," CEIS Research Paper 264, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 13 Feb 2013.
  14. Shahbaz, Muhammad & Nawaz, Kishwer & AROURI, Mohamed El Hedi & Teulon, Frédéric, 2013. "Does The Keynesian Absolute Income Hypothesis Exist in Pakistan?," MPRA Paper 47923, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Jul 2013.
  15. Martha A. Starr, 2006. "Macroeconomic dimensions of social economics: Saving, the stock market, and pension systems," Working Papers 2006-09, American University, Department of Economics.
  16. Andreas Freytag & Sebastian Voll, 2013. "Institutions and savings in developing and emerging economies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 475-509, December.

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