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Japan's High Saving Rate Reaffirmed

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Dekle

    (Assistant Professor, Boston University, U.S.A.)

  • Lawrence Summers

    (Vice President and Chief Economist, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank))

Abstract

Compared to the U.S. national accounts, the Japanese accounts understate consumption and government spending, and therefore overstate the national saving rate. Recently, Hayashi has recalculated Japan's national saving according to the American Department of Commerce definition and found that from the mid-1970s until today, Japan's national saving rate is nearly halved. In this paper, we argue that Hayashi's adjustments to the Japanese income accounts are exaggerated, and present measures of Japanese and U.S. private saving that are immune from national income accounting biases. Our saving measures are constructed from the balance sheets of the household sectors in the United States and Japan. Far from being equal, we find that the two country gap in saving rates in the early-1980s has averaged between 15 and 30 percentage points, depending on the measure.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Dekle & Lawrence Summers, 1991. "Japan's High Saving Rate Reaffirmed," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 9(2), pages 63-78, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ime:imemes:v:9:y:1991:i:2:p:63-78
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    File URL: http://www.imes.boj.or.jp/research/papers/english/me9-2-3-1.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bradford, D.F., 1989. "Market Value Us. Financial Accounting Measures Of National Saving," Papers 34, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
    2. Fumio Hayashi, 1989. "Is Japan's saving rate high?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 3-9.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yoshida, Jiro, 2016. "Structure Depreciation and the Production of Real Estate Services," HIT-REFINED Working Paper Series 44, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    2. Dekle, Robert, 2004. "Financing consumption in an aging Japan: The role of foreign capital inflows and immigration," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 506-527, December.
    3. Kaiji Chen & Ayse Imrohoroglu & Selo Imrohoroglu, 2005. "Japanese Saving Rate," Macroeconomics 0502017, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. David W. Campbell, 1999. "Explaining Japan's Saving Rate," Macroeconomics 9902004, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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