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Assessing the Effectiveness of Saving Incentives

  • R. Glenn Hubbard
  • Jonathan S. Skinner

The authors argue that there is more to be learned from recent research on the effectiveness of targeted saving incentives than the wide variation in empirical estimates suggests. They conclude that characterizations of 'all new saving' or 'no new saving' are extreme IRAs and 401(k) plans appear to stimulate moderate amounts of new saving. The authors suggest a cost-benefit approach to ask: What is the incremental gain in capital accumulation per dollar of foregone revenue? For quite conservative measures of the saving impacts of IRAs or 401(k)s, the incremental gains in capital accumulation per dollar of lost revenue are large.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.10.4.73
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 10 (1996)
Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
Pages: 73-90

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:10:y:1996:i:4:p:73-90
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.10.4.73
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  1. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1988. "The Determinants of IRA Contributions and the Effect of Limit Changes," NBER Chapters, in: Pensions in the U.S. Economy, pages 9-52 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1992. "401(k) Plans and Tax-Deferred Saving," NBER Working Papers 4181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  4. Hubbard, R Glenn & Skinner, Jonathan & Zeldes, Stephen P, 1995. "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 360-99, April.
  5. Gale, W.G. & Scholz, J.K., 1990. "Ira'S And Households Saving," Papers 16, California Los Angeles - Applied Econometrics.
  6. Daniel Feenberg & Jonathan Skinner, 1989. "Sources of IRA Saving," NBER Working Papers 2845, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Daniel Feenberg & Jonathan Skinner, 1989. "Sources of IRA Saving," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 3, pages 25-46 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Charles L. Ballard & Don Fullerton & John B. Shoven & John Whalley, 1985. "A General Equilibrium Model for Tax Policy Evaluation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ball85-1, August.
  8. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1987. "IRAs and Saving," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Capital Accumulation, pages 7-52 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. King, R.G. & Rebelo, S., 1988. "Public Policy And Economic Growth: Developing Neoclassical Implications," RCER Working Papers 225, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  10. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1991. "The Saving Effect of Tax-deferred Retirement Accounts: Evidence from SIPP," NBER Chapters, in: National Saving and Economic Performance, pages 103-130 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Martin Feldstein & Daniel Feenberg, 1981. "Alternative Tax Rules and Personal Savings Incentives: Microeconomic Data and Behavioral Simulations," NBER Working Papers 0681, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Feldstein, Martin S, 1978. "The Welfare Cost of Capital Income Taxation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(2), pages S29-51, April.
  13. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1987. "Have IRAs Increased U.S. Saving?: Evidence from Consumer Expenditure Surveys," NBER Working Papers 2217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Orazio P. Attanasio & Thomas C. DeLeire, 1994. "IRAs and Household Saving Revisited: Some New Evidence," NBER Working Papers 4900, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1993. "Do 401(k) Contributions Crowd Out Other Persoanl Saving?," NBER Working Papers 4391, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Hubbard, R. Glenn & Skinner, Jonathan & Zeldes, Stephen P., 1994. "The importance of precautionary motives in explaining individual and aggregate saving," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 59-125, June.
  17. Arthur B. Kennickell & Martha Starr-McCluer & Annika E. Sunden, 1996. "Saving and financial planning: some findings from a focus group," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-1, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  18. Zvi Bodie & John B. Shoven & David A. Wise, 1988. "Pensions in the U.S. Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bodi88-1, August.
  19. Thaler, Richard H, 1994. "Psychology and Savings Policies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 186-92, May.
  20. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  21. Feldstein, Martin, 1995. "The Effects of Tax-Based Saving Incentives on Government Revenue and National Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 475-94, May.
  22. B. Douglas Bernheim & John B. Shoven, 1991. "National Saving and Economic Performance," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bern91-2, August.
  23. Kevin A. Hassett & R. Glenn Hubbard, 1996. "Tax Policy and Investment," NBER Working Papers 5683, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Venti, Steven F & Wise, David A, 1986. "Tax-Deferred Accounts, Constrained Choice and Estimation of Individual Saving," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 579-601, August.
  25. Eric M. Engen & William G. Gale & John Karl Scholz, 1994. "Do Saving Incentives Work?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(1), pages 85-180.
  26. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1996. "Rethinking Saving Incentives," Working Papers 96009, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  27. Hubbard, R Glenn & Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. "Social Security and Individual Welfare: Precautionary Saving, Borrowing Constraints, and the Payroll Tax," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 630-46, September.
  28. Posner, Richard A., 1995. "Aging and Old Age," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226675664, December.
  29. David A. Wise & Steven F. Venti, 1993. "The Wealth of Cohorts: Retirement Saving and the Changing Assets of Older Americans," NBER Working Papers 4600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1992. "Government Policy and Personal Retirement Saving," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 6, pages 1-42 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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