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Japan's Saving Rate: New Data and Reflections

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  • Fumio Hayashi

Abstract

This paper examines available evidence on Japan's wealth accumulation. Time-series evidence over the last one hundred years indicates that the phenomenon of extraordinarily high Japanese saving rate ia limited to the high-growth era of 1965-1975. Micro evidence about consumption and aaving by age can be more easily explained by the dynasty model than by the lifecycle hypothesis. The infinite horizon neoclassical growth model, while capable of generating the hump in the saving rate and explaining why it was preceded by the rapid GNP growth in the post-war period, leaves unanswered the question of why wealth accumulation in pre-war Japan was so slow. Perhaps growth in pre-war Japan was hampered by harmful effects of misguided government policies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3205.

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Date of creation: Dec 1989
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Publication status: published as Chapter 10 in F. Hayashi, Understanding Saving: Evidence from the U.S. and Japan, MIT Press, 1997.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3205

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  1. Balke, Nathan S & Gordon, Robert J, 1989. "The Estimation of Prewar Gross National Product: Methodology and New Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 38-92, February.
  2. Fumio Hayashi, 1986. "Why Is Japan's Saving Rate So Apparently High?," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 147-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Altonji, Joseph G & Hayashi, Fumio & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1992. "Is the Extended Family Altruistically Linked? Direct Tests Using Micro Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1177-98, December.
  4. Fumio Hayashi, 1989. "Is Japan's saving rate high?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 3-9.
  5. Lawrence J. Christiano, 1989. "Understanding Japan's saving rate: the reconstruction hypothesis," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 10-25.
  6. Chris Carroll & Lawrence H. Summers, 1989. "Consumption Growth Parallels Income Growth: Some New Evidence," NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 3090, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Balvers, Ronald J. & H. Bergstrand, Jeffrey, 1997. "Equilibrium real exchange rates: closed-form theoretical solutions and some empirical evidence," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 345-366, June.
  2. Maurice Obstfeld, 1991. "The Adjustment Mechanism," NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 3943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Michael D. Bordo, 1995. "The Gold Standard as a `Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval'," NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 5340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Michael D. Bordo & Anna J. Schwartz, 1994. "The Specie Standard as a Contingent Rule: Some Evidence for Core and Peripheral Countries, 1880-1990," NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 4860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Michael D. Bordo & Finn E. Kydland, 1992. "The gold standard as a rule," Working Paper, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland 9205, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  6. Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1993. "Industry evolution and transition: the role of information capital," Staff Report, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 162, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

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