IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Explaining differences in the domestic savings ratio across countries: A panel data study


  • Khaled Hussein
  • A. P. Thirlwall


This article seeks to analyse the major determinants of differences in the domestic savings ratio between countries using panel data for 62 countries over the period 1967—95. A basic distinction is made between the determinants of the capacity to save and the willingness to save. The capacity to save depends primarily on the level of per capita income (but non-linearly) and the growth of income (the life-cycle hypothesis), and the empirics strongly support these hypotheses. The willingness to save is assumed to depend on financial variables such as the rate of interest, the level of financial deepening and inflation. We find no support for a positive interest rate effect, but strong support for the level of financial deepening measured by the ratio of quasi-liquid liabilities to GDP. Inflation exerts a mild positive effect on saving but soon turns negative. Total saving may also depend on tax effort, but a surprisingly strong negative relation is found between the ratio of tax revenue to GDP and the domestic savings ratio.

Suggested Citation

  • Khaled Hussein & A. P. Thirlwall, 1999. "Explaining differences in the domestic savings ratio across countries: A panel data study," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(1), pages 31-52.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:36:y:1999:i:1:p:31-52
    DOI: 10.1080/00220389908422610

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-591, September.
    2. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-963, September.
    3. repec:pri:indrel:dsp01qn59q398s is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Anthony P. Thirwall, 1972. "Inflation and the Savings Ration Across Countries," Working Papers 414, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    5. Leff, Nathaniel H, 1969. "Dependency Rates and Savings Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(5), pages 886-896, December.
    6. Bruno, Michael & Easterly, William, 1998. "Inflation crises and long-run growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 3-26, February.
    7. Friedman, Milton, 1971. "Government Revenue from Inflation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(4), pages 846-856, July-Aug..
    8. Edwards, Sebastian, 1996. "Why are Latin America's savings rates so low? An international comparative analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 5-44, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. M. Castro Campos & C. Kool & J. Muysken, 2013. "Cross-Country Private Saving Heterogeneity and Culture," De Economist, Springer, vol. 161(2), pages 101-120, June.
    2. Prema-Chandra Athukorala & Pang-Long Tsai, 2003. "Determinants of Household Saving in Taiwan: Growth, Demography and Public Policy," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(5), pages 65-88.
    3. Anja Koebrich Leon, 2013. "Religion and Economic Outcomes – Household Savings Behavior in the USA," Working Paper Series in Economics 268, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    4. repec:dau:papers:123456789/12164 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Mohamed, Elwasila, 2017. "Sustainability of Sudan External Debt up 2015 and beyond," MPRA Paper 79708, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Athukorala, Prema-chandra & Sen, Kunal, 2004. "The Determinants of Private Saving in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 491-503, March.
    7. Kevin Nell, 2012. "Demand-led versus supply-led growth transitions," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(4), pages 713-748.
    8. Stephanie Seguino & Maria Sagrario Floro, 2003. "Does Gender have any Effect on Aggregate Saving? An empirical analysis," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(2), pages 147-166.
    9. Ehmer, Philipp, 2014. "The impact of diverging economic structure on current account imbalances in the euro area," Wittener Diskussionspapiere zu alten und neuen Fragen der Wirtschaftswissenschaft 27/2014, Witten/Herdecke University, Faculty of Management and Economics.
    10. Ohr, Renate & Zeddies, Götz, 2010. ""Geschäftsmodell Deutschland" und außenwirtschaftliche Ungleichgewichte in der EU," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 110, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    11. Mouawiya Al-Awad & Adam Elhiraika, 2003. "Cultural Effects and Savings: Evidence from Immigrants to the United Arab Emirates," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(5), pages 139-151.
    12. Marwan Abdul-Malik Thanoon & Ahmad Zubaidi Baharumshah, 2012. "Comparing Savings Behavior in Asia and Latin America: The Role of Capital Inflows and Economic Growth," Journal of Developing Areas, Tennessee State University, College of Business, vol. 46(1), pages 113-131, January-J.
    13. Naeem AKRAM & Muhammad Irfan AKRAM, 2015. "Savings Behaviour In Muslim And Non-Muslim Countries In Context To The Interest Rate," Pakistan Journal of Applied Economics, Applied Economics Research Centre, vol. 25(2), pages 161-177.
    14. Shahbaz, Muhammad & Nawaz, Kishwar & Arouri, Mohamed & Teulon, Frédéric & Uddin, Gazi Salah, 2013. "On the validity of the Keynesian Absolute Income hypothesis in Pakistan: An ARDL bounds testing approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 290-296.
    15. Floro, Maria & Seguino, Stephanie, 2002. "Gender effects on aggregate saving: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," MPRA Paper 6541, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Dec 2000.
    16. repec:got:cegedp:110 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Delwar Hossain, 2014. "Differential Impacts of Foreign Capital and Remittance Inflows on Domestic Savings in the Developing Countries: A Dynamic Heterogeneous Panel Analysis," Departmental Working Papers 2014-07, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
    18. Baharumshah, Ahmad Zubaidi & Thanoon, Marwan A. & Rashid, Salim, 2003. "Saving dynamics in the Asian countries," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 827-845, January.
    19. us Swaleheen, Mushfiq, 2008. "Corruption and saving in a panel of countries," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 1285-1301, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:36:y:1999:i:1:p:31-52. 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: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.