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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, Kotlikoff & Sabelhaus (1996), based on the lifecycle model of savings, to decompose the differences 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 different tax and benefit systems are able to explain little of the cross-sectional differences 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. Tatiana Kirsanova, 2006. "A Comparison of National Saving Rates in the UK, US and Italy," NIESR Discussion Papers 278, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  2. 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.
  3. James M. Poterba, 1994. "International Comparisons of Household Saving," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote94-1, December.
  4. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1988. "Consumption and Capital Market Imperfection: An International Comparison," CEPR Discussion Papers 244, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Caballero, Ricardo J, 1991. "Earnings Uncertainty and Aggregate Wealth Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 859-71, September.
  6. 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.
  7. William G. Gale & John Karl Scholz, 1991. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Accumulation of Wealth," UCLA Economics Working Papers 624, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Roger E. A. Farmer, 1990. "RINCE Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 43-60.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Orazio P. Attanasio, 1993. "A Cohort Analysis of Saving Behavior by U.S. Households," NBER Working Papers 4454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1992. "Earnings Uncertainty and Precautionary Saving," CEPR Discussion Papers 699, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244, July.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Arie Kapteyn & Constantijn Panis, 2003. "The Size and Composition of Wealth Holdings in the United States, Italy, and the Netherlands," Working Papers 03-05, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
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