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Personal and Corporate Saving in South Africa

  • Aron, Janine
  • Muellbauer, John

Low domestic saving rates in South Africa may perpetuate a low-growth trap. The decline in government saving, a major reason for the overall decline in saving, is now being reversed. However, personal saving rates have fallen since 1993, and corporate rates since 1995, and both may decline further with lower real interest rates. It is important to understand both personal and corporate saving behaviour in order to formulate policies to raise the domestic saving rate in line with the needs of economic growth. This article summarizes our previous work on the household sector, emphasizing the role of financial liberalization, assets, and income expectations, and it explains sectoral links and policy implications. Further, it analyses South Africa's corporate saving rate in detail. Models are developed both for the share of profits in national income, including the roles of the terms of trade, tax effects, and the price to unit labour cost margin, and for the share of corporate saving in profits, which is found to depend on inflation, the real interest rate, dividend taxation, and financial liberalization. Corporate saving is remarkably underresearched, given its importance in many economies. This research thus puts the saving and growth concerns of Kaldor into a modern empirical context.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2656.

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Date of creation: Dec 2000
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2656
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  1. Banerjee, Anindya & Dolado, Juan J. & Galbraith, John W. & Hendry, David, 1993. "Co-integration, Error Correction, and the Econometric Analysis of Non-Stationary Data," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288107.
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  7. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  8. James M. Poterba, 1987. "Tax Policy and Corporate Saving," Working papers 470, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan S. Skinner, 1996. "Assessing the Effectiveness of Saving Incentives," NBER Working Papers 5686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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 225-49, Part I, M.
  11. Hall, Robert E & Mishkin, Frederic S, 1982. "The Sensitivity of Consumption to Transitory Income: Estimates from Panel Data on Households," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(2), pages 461-81, March.
  12. Oriana Bandiera & Gerard Caprio Jr. & Patrick Honohan & Fabio Schiantarelli, 1998. "Does Financial Reform Raise or Reduce Savings?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 413, Boston College Department of Economics.
  13. Schmidt-Hebbel, K. & Serven, L., 1997. "Saving Across the World: Puzzles and Policies," World Bank - Discussion Papers 354, World Bank.
  14. Janine Aron & John Muellbauer, 2000. "Financial liberalisation, consumption and debt in South Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-22, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  15. Davidson, James E H, et al, 1978. "Econometric Modelling of the Aggregate Time-Series Relationship between Consumers' Expenditure and Income in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 88(352), pages 661-92, December.
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  21. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
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  23. Geeta G. Kingdon & John B. Knight, 2000. "Are searching and non-searching unemployment distinct states when unemployment is high? The case of South Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-02, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  24. Bayoumi, Tamim A, 1993. "Financial Deregulation and Consumption in the United Kingdom," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(3), pages 536-39, August.
  25. Steve Bond & Lucy Chennells & Michael Devereux, 1995. "Company dividends and taxes in the UK," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 16(3), pages 1-18, August.
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