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The After Tax Rate of Return Affects Private Savings

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  • Lawrence H. Summers

Abstract

This paper reviews theoretical argumrents and empirical evidence regarding the interest elasticity of savings. It concludes that there are strong theoretical reasons to expect an increase in after tax rates of return to increase private savings. Moreover, the empirical rrethods used in most previous studies are likely to produce underestimates of the interestelasticity of savings. New evidence based on direct estimation of utility function parameters suggests that savings are likely to be highly interest elastic. The paper concludes by noting that too little time has passed to evaluate the effects of the savings incentives contained in recent tax legislation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1351.

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Date of creation: Aug 1984
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Publication status: published as Summers, Lawrence H. "The After Tax Rate of Return Affects Private Savings ." American Economic Review, Vol. 74, No. 2, (May 1984), pp. 249-253.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1351

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  1. Shapiro, Matthew D., 1984. "The permanent income hypothesis and the real interest rate : Some evidence from panel data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 93-100.
  2. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  3. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 706-32, August.
  4. Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "Capital Taxation and Accumulation in a Life Cycle Growth Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 533-44, September.
  5. E. Philip Howrey & Saul H. Hymans, 1978. "The Measurement and Determination of Loanable-Funds Saving," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 9(3), pages 655-685.
  6. Mankiw, N Gregory & Rotemberg, Julio J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1985. "Intertemporal Substitution in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(1), pages 225-51, February.
  7. Seidman, Laurence S, 1983. "Taxes in a Life Cycle Growth Model with Bequests and Inheritances," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 437-41, June.
  8. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1983. "Stochastic Consumption, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Asset Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 249-65, April.
  9. Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1981. "An Examination of Empirical Tests of Social Security and Savings," NBER Working Papers 0730, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Evans, Owen J, 1983. "Tax Policy, the Interest Elasticity of Saving, and Capital Accumulation: Numerical Analysis of Theoretical Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 398-410, June.
  11. Lawrence H. Summers, 1982. "Tax Policy, the Rate of Return, and Savings," NBER Working Papers 0995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Weber, Warren E, 1975. "Interest Rates, Inflation, and Consumer Expenditures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 843-58, December.
  13. Weber, Warren E, 1970. "The Effect of Interest Rates on Aggregate Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(4), pages 591-600, September.
  14. Seidman, Laurence S. & Maurer, Stephen B., 1982. "Taxes and capital intensity in a two-class disposable income growth model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 243-259, November.
  15. Boskin, Michael J, 1978. "Taxation, Saving, and the Rate of Interest," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(2), pages S3-27, April.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Balassa, Bela, 1989. "The effects of interest rates on savings in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 56, The World Bank.
  3. 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.
  4. Fehr, Hans, 1999. "Welfare Effects of Dynamic Tax Reforms," Beiträge zur Finanzwissenschaft, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, edition 1, volume 5, number urn:isbn:9783161470165, July.
  5. Gauti Eggertsson & Andrea Ferrero & Andrea Raffo, 2013. "Can structural reforms help Europe?," International Finance Discussion Papers 1092, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Martin Beznoska & Richard Ochmann, 2013. "The interest elasticity of household savings: a structural approach with German micro data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 371-399, August.

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