Why have private savings rates in the United States and Canada diverged?
One of the central questions in macroeconomics for many years has been whether government policy can affect private saving rates, and if so to what extent and through what channels. The question has remained controversial because, as with other macroeconomic questions, experiments to check divergent hypotheses cannot be deliberately performed, so economists must rely upon the often dubious evidence from the limited experiments with which nature and history have endowed us. This paper discusses the results of an exceptionally good natural experiment that has been provided by Canada and the U.S. over the past thirty-five years. After moving in tandem for almost 25 years, American and Canadian private saving rates have diverged dramatically over the last decade. The primary conclusion emerging from our analysis of this phenomenon is that tax policies can have a potent impact on private savings behavior. Differences in tax structures and in the interactions of taxation and inflation appear to be important factors explaining the divergent behavior of the American and Canadian private savings rates. Recognizing the importance of asset revaluations, caused partially but not entirely by tax effects, also helps to explain the different behavior of U.S. and Canadian savings. There may also be a relationship between government deficits and the private savings differential.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ashenfelter, Orley & Card, David, 1986. "Why Have Unemployment Rates in Canada and the United States Diverged?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(210(S)), pages S171-95, Supplemen.
- Barro, Robert J., 1974.
"Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?,"
3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Friend, Irwin & Lieberman, Charles, 1975. "Short-Run Asset Effects on Household Saving and Consumption: The Cross-Section Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(4), pages 624-33, September.
- Jump, Gregory V, 1980. "Interest Rates, Inflation Expectations, and Spurious Elements in Measured Real Income and Saving," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 990-1004, December.
- Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "Capital Taxation and Accumulation in a Life Cycle Growth Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 533-44, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:20:y:1987:i:2:p:249-279. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.