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A comparison of national saving rates in the UK, US and Italy

  • Kirsanova, Tatiana
  • Sefton, James

We develop the approach of Gokhale et al. (1996), based on the life-cycle model of savings, to decompose the di?erences in the national saving rates between the UK, US and Italy. Our work suggests that the US saving rate is lower principally because Americans on average retire later. In contrast, the Italian saving rate is higher predominantly because Italians are credit constrained, particularly when young. We also found that demography and the di?erent tax and bene?t systems are able to explain little of the cross-sectional di?erences in saving rates. The study accounts for the possible importance of intergenerational private transfers in determining saving rates.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 51 (2007)
Issue (Month): 8 (November)
Pages: 1998-2028

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:51:y:2007:i:8:p:1998-2028
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  1. Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2000. "The dynamics of household wealth accumulation in Italy," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 269-295, June.
  2. Tullio Jappelli & Marco Pagano, 1994. "Personal Saving in Italy," NBER Chapters, in: International Comparisons of Household Saving, pages 237-268 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1992. "Earnings uncertainty and precautionary saving," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 307-337, November.
  4. Tatiana Kirsanova & James Sefton, 2006. "A Comparison of National Saving Rates in the UK, US and Italy," Discussion Papers 0612, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  5. William G. Gale & John Karl Scholz, 1994. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Accumulation of Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 145-160, Fall.
  6. Das, Marcel & Donkers, Bas, 1999. "How Certain Are Dutch Households about Future Income? An Empirical Analysis," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(3), pages 325-38, September.
  7. Banks, James & Blundell, Richard & Preston, Ian, 1994. "Life-cycle expenditure allocations and the consumption costs of children," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1391-1410, August.
  8. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & John Sabelhaus, 1996. "Understanding the Postwar Decline in U.S. Saving: A Cohort Analysis," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 315-407.
  9. James M. Poterba, 1994. "Introduction to "International Comparisons of Household Saving"," NBER Chapters, in: International Comparisons of Household Saving, pages 1-10 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2002. "An Empirical Analysis of Earnings and Employment Risk," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(2), pages 241-53, April.
  11. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1989. "Consumption and Capital Market Imperfections: An International Comparison," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1088-1105, December.
  12. Arie Kapteyn & Constantijn Panis, 2003. "The Size and Composition of Wealth Holdings in the United States, Italy, and the Netherlands," NBER Working Papers 10182, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Orazio P. Attanasio, 1998. "Cohort Analysis of Saving Behavior by U.S. Households," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(3), pages 575-609.
  14. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1992. " Saving and Capital Market Imperfections: The Italian Experience," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(2), pages 197-213.
  15. Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244, March.
  16. Roger E.A. Farmer, 1989. "Rince Preferences," UCLA Economics Working Papers 547, UCLA Department of Economics.
  17. Caballero, Ricardo J, 1991. "Earnings Uncertainty and Aggregate Wealth Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 859-71, September.
  18. Cardarelli, Roberto & Sefton, James & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 2000. "Generational Accounting in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(467), pages F547-74, November.
  19. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 2000. "Growth and Saving Among Individuals and Households," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 212-225, May.
  20. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio, 1991. "Intergenerational transfers and capital market imperfections : Evidence from a cross-section of Italian households," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 103-120, January.
  21. James M. Poterba, 1994. "International Comparisons of Household Saving," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote94-1, December.
  22. Slesnick, Daniel T, 1992. "Aggregate Consumption and Saving in the Postwar United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(4), pages 585-97, November.
  23. Holmans, A. E., 1994. "House prices, land prices, the housing market and house purchase debt in the UK and other countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 157-199, April.
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