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Saving in Developing Countries: An Overview

  • Norman Loayza
  • Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel
  • Luis Servén

This article reviews the current state of knowledge on the determinants of saving rates, presenting the main findings and contributions of the recently completed World Bank research project, “Saving Across the World”. The article discusses the basic design of the research project and its core database, the World Saving Database. It then summarizes the main project results and places them in the context of the literature on saving, identifying the key policy and nonpolicy determinants of private saving rates. Special attention is paid to the relationship between growth and saving and the impact of specific policies on saving rates. The article concludes by introducing the studies included in this special issue. Copyright The Author 2000. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / the world bank . All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal The World Bank Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 14 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 393-414

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Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:14:y:2000:i:3:p:393-414
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  1. Jeannine Bailliu & Helmut Reisen, 1998. "Do funded pensions contribute to higher aggregate savings? A cross-country analysis," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 134(4), pages 692-711, December.
  2. Masao Ogaki & Jonathan D. Ostry & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1996. "Saving Behavior in Low- and Middle-Income Developing Countries: A Comparison," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(1), pages 38-71, March.
  3. Christopher D. Carroll & Andrew A. Samwick, 1998. "How Important Is Precautionary Saving?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 410-419, August.
  4. Jonathan S. Skinner, 1987. "Risky Income, Life Cycle Consumption, and Precautionary Savings," NBER Working Papers 2336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Wayne E. Ferson & George M. Constantinides, 1991. "Habit Persistence and Durability in Aggregate Consumption: Empirical Tests," NBER Working Papers 3631, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Barry Bosworth & Gary Burtless & John Sabelhaus, 1991. "The Decline in Saving: Some Microeconomic Evidence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 183-256.
  7. Griffin, Keith, 1970. "Foreign Capital, Domestic Savings and Economic Development," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 32(2), pages 99-112, May.
  8. Sebastian Edwards, 1995. "Why are Saving Rates so Different Across Countries?: An International Comparative Analysis," NBER Working Papers 5097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Zeldes, Stephen P, 1989. "Consumption and Liquidity Constraints: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 305-46, April.
  10. Corbo, Vittorio & Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus, 1991. "Public policies and saving in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 574, The World Bank.
  11. Haque, N. U. & Pesaran, M. H. & Sharma, Sunil, 1999. "Neglected Heterogeneity and Dynamics in Cross-country Savings Regressions," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9904, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  12. Chris Carroll & Lawrence H. Summers, 1989. "Consumption Growth Parallels Income Growth: Some New Evidence," NBER Working Papers 3090, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Carroll, Christopher D. & Samwick, Andrew A., 1997. "The nature of precautionary wealth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 41-71, September.
  14. Christian Thimann & Anuradha Dayal-Gulati, 1997. "Saving in Southeast Asia and Latin America Compared: Searching for Policy Lessons," IMF Working Papers 97/110, International Monetary Fund.
  15. Flavin, Marjorie A, 1981. "The Adjustment of Consumption to Changing Expectations about Future Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 974-1009, October.
  16. Menchik, Paul L & David, Martin, 1983. "Income Distribution, Lifetime Savings, and Bequests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 672-90, September.
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