Diminished Expectations of Nuclear War and Increased Personal Savings: Evidence From Individual Survey Data
AbstractAt the end of 1983 Gallup polls showed that 52 percent of Americans thought that the probability of a world war in the next 10 years was 50% or higher; by 1989 the percentage had dropped to 29%. Fear of war of this pervasiveness is bound to have an effect on decisions about present versus uncertain future consumption. This paper investigates the cross-sectional relationship between saving and fear of war using responses to telephone surveys conducted during April and October of 1990. The analysis shows that an individual's professed level of fear about the likelihood of nuclear war was significantly negatively related to the probability of being a saver rather than a dissaver, to changes in actual saving, and to saving plans relative to actual savings. Fear of war had an independent effect controlling for many demographic, economic and psychological characteristics. These results are broadly consistent with other evidence on the relationship between aggregate saving and fear of war over time and across countries.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4031.
Date of creation: Mar 1992
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Other versions of this item:
- Russett, Bruce & Slemrod, Joel, 1993. "Diminished Expectations of Nuclear War and Increased Personal Savings: Evidence from Individual Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 1022-33, September.
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- Slemrod, Joel, 1990.
"Fear of Nuclear War and Intercountry Differences in the Rate of Saving,"
Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(4), pages 647-57, October.
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- Christopher W. Crowe, 2009. "Irrational Exuberance in the U.S. Housing Market: Were Evangelicals Left Behind?," IMF Working Papers 09/57, International Monetary Fund.
- Robert J. Barro, 2005. "Rare Events and the Equity Premium," NBER Working Papers 11310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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