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Have IRAs Increased U. S. Saving?: Evidence from Consumer Expenditure Surveys

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  • Steven F. Venti
  • David A. Wise

Abstract

The vast majority of Individual Retirement Account contributions represent net new saving, based on evidence from the quarterly Consumer Expenditure Surveys (CES). The results are based on analysis of the relationship between IRA contributions and other financial asset saving. The data show almost no substitution of IRAs for other saving. Estimates are based on a flexible constrained optimization model, with the IRA limit the principal constraint. The implications of this model for saving in the absence of the IRA option match very closely the actual non-IRA financial asset saving behavior prior to 1982. IRA saving does not show up as other financial asset saving in the pre-IRA period.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1990. "Have IRAs Increased U. S. Saving?: Evidence from Consumer Expenditure Surveys," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 661-698.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:105:y:1990:i:3:p:661-698.
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