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Demographics, Fiscal Policy, and U.S. Saving in the 1980s and Beyond

In: Tax Policy and the Economy: Volume 4

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  • Alan J. Auerbach
  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff

Abstract

This paper focuses on U.S. saving, demographics, and fiscal policy. We use data from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys of the 1980s to consider the effect of demographic change on past and future U.S. saving rates. Our findings indicate that demographic change may significantly alter the U.S. rate of national saving and current account position over the next 50 years. The gradual aging of the population is predicted to lead to higher saving rates over the next three decades with declines in the rate of saving thereafter. Associated with these predicted saving rate changes is a predicted improvement in the U.S. current account position is the 1990s, with a very gradual deterioration during the subsequent decades. While demographics is a potentially very important factor in explaining saving, it does not appear to explain the drop in the U.S. saving rate in the 1980s. What happened to U.S. saving in the 1980s remains an intriguing puzzle.
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Suggested Citation

  • Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1990. "Demographics, Fiscal Policy, and U.S. Saving in the 1980s and Beyond," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy: Volume 4, pages 73-102 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11573
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Poterba, James M. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1987. "Finite lifetimes and the effects of budget deficits on national saving," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 369-391, September.
    2. David, Paul A & Scadding, John L, 1974. "Private Savings: Ultrarationality, Aggregation, and "Denison's Law."," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 225-249, Part I, M.
    3. Alan J. Auerbach & Kevin Hassett, 1991. "Corporate Savings and Shareholder Consumption," NBER Chapters,in: National Saving and Economic Performance, pages 75-102 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 706-732, August.
    5. Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Robert P. Hagemann & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 1989. "The Economic Dynamics of an Ageing Population: The Case of Four OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 62, OECD Publishing.
    6. Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Robert Hagemann & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 1989. "The Dynamics of an Aging Population: The Case of Four OECD Countries," NBER Working Papers 2797, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Christopher D. Carroll & Lawrence H. Summers, 1991. "Consumption Growth Parallels Income Growth: Some New Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: National Saving and Economic Performance, pages 305-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nicolas Afflatet, 2016. "The impact of population ageing on public debt. A panel analysis for eighteen european countries," Working Papers 1615, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
    2. FUKAO Kyoji & MAKINO Tatsuji, 2015. "Aging, Interregional Income Inequality, and Industrial Structure: An empirical analysis based on the R-JIP Database and the R-LTES Database," Discussion papers 15022, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

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