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Tax Incentives for Household Saving and Borrowing

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Abstract

The paper reviews the literature on these tax incentives, with special focus on long-term saving, housing, and household liabilities. The paper addresses several areas of policy intervention: (1) the interest rate effect on personal saving; (2) the effect of tax incentives on long-term mandatory saving programs; (3) government programs that target saving for home purchase; (4) government programs that target health and saving for education; (5) the effect of tax incentives to borrow, rather than to save. For each of these five important issues, the paper provides empirical evidence on the main characteristics of government programs, with a special focus on middle-income countries. It also addresses a number of issues that should be of interest to policy-makers. First of all, on which grounds government policy should target some assets rather than others. Second, if tax-sheltered assets and liabilities lead to substitution away from more heavily taxed savings instruments or if they affect the overall level of saving. And finally, if there is any lesson that can be drawn from the experience of developed countries for the design of saving and borrowing incentives in middle-income countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 83.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2002
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Publication status: Published in Taxation of Financial Intermediation, edited by P. Honohan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003
Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:83

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  1. Jeanine Bailliu & Helmut Reisen, 1997. "Do Funded Pensions Contribute to Higher Aggregate Savings?: A Cross-Country Analysis," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 130, OECD Publishing.
  2. Loayza, N. & Schmidt, K. & Serven, L., 1999. "What Drives Private Saving Across the World?," Papers 47, Cambridge - Risk, Information & Quantity Signals.
  3. James M. Poterba, 2001. "Taxation and Portfolio Structure: Issues and Implications," NBER Working Papers 8223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Courts: the Lex Mundi Project," NBER Working Papers 8890, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Poterba, James M. (ed.), 1994. "Public Policies and Household Saving," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226676180, August.
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  8. Eric M. Engen & William G. Gale & John Karl Scholz, 1996. "The Illusory Effects of Saving Incentives on Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 113-138, Fall.
  9. Feldstein, Martin S, 1976. "Personal Taxation and Portfolio Composition: An Econometric Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(4), pages 631-50, July.
  10. Holzmann, Robert & Mac Arthur, Ian W. & Sin, Yvonne, 2000. "Pension systems in East Asia and the Pacific : challenges and opportunities," Social Protection Discussion Papers 23088, The World Bank.
  11. Thaler, Richard H & Shefrin, H M, 1981. "An Economic Theory of Self-Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 392-406, April.
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  13. Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2001. "Tax Incentives and the Demand for Life Insurance: Evidence from Italy," CSEF Working Papers 52, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  14. Engelhardt, Gary V, 1996. "Tax Subsidies and Household Saving: Evidence from Canada," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1237-68, November.
  15. Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Saving, Fungibility, and Mental Accounts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 193-205, Winter.
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  17. De Gregorio, Jose, 1996. "Borrowing constraints, human capital accumulation, and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 49-71, February.
  18. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio, 2000. "Household Portfolios in Italy," CEPR Discussion Papers 2549, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Alfredo Cuevas & G. A. Mackenzie & Philip R. Gerson, 1997. "Pension Regimes and Saving," IMF Occasional Papers 153, International Monetary Fund.
  20. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1996. "How Retirement Saving Programs Increase Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 91-112, Fall.
  21. Feldstein, Martin, 1995. "College Scholarship Rules and Private Saving," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 552-66, June.
  22. Brigitte C. Madrian & Dennis F. Shea, 2001. "THE POWER OF SUGGESTION: INERTIA IN 401(k) PARTICIPATION AND SAVINGS BEHAVIOR," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1149-1187, November.
  23. Souleles, Nicholas S., 2000. "College tuition and household savings and consumption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 185-207, August.
  24. Bayoumi, Tamim & Masson, Paul R & Samiei, Hossein, 1996. "International Evidence on the Determinants of Saving," CEPR Discussion Papers 1368, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Marco Cagetti, 2001. "Interest Elasticity in a Life-Cycle Model with Precautionary Savings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 418-421, May.
  26. Hochguertel, Stefan & Alessie, Rob & van Soest, Arthur, 1997. " Saving Accounts versus Stocks and Bonds in Household Portfolio Allocation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(1), pages 81-97, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Honohan, Patrick, 2003. "Avoiding the pitfalls in taxing financial intermediation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3056, The World Bank.

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