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The Interest Rate Effect on Private Saving: Alternative Perspectives

Author

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  • Joshua Aizenman

    () (Department of Economics, University of Southern California)

  • Ying-Wong Cheung

    () (Department of Economics, City University of Hong Kong)

  • Hiro Ito

    () (Department of Economics, Portland State University)

Abstract

Lowering the policy interest rate could stimulate consumption and investment while discouraging people from saving. However, such a move may also prompt people to save more to compensate for the low rate of return. Using the data of 135 countries from 1995 to 2014, we show that a low-interest rate environment can yield different effects on private saving under different economic environments. The real interest rate affects private saving negatively if output volatility, old-age dependency, or financial development is above a certain threshold. Depending on a country’s specific economic circumstances, these effects are significant for the economy—a four-percentage point decline in the real interest rate, which is approximately the same as one standard deviation for China, would lead to a 1.52 percentage point increase in the Chinese private saving rate. Further, when the real interest rate is below 1.1%, greater output volatility would lead to higher private saving in developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua Aizenman & Ying-Wong Cheung & Hiro Ito, 2019. "The Interest Rate Effect on Private Saving: Alternative Perspectives," GRU Working Paper Series GRU_2019_004, City University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics and Finance, Global Research Unit.
  • Handle: RePEc:cth:wpaper:gru_2019_004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Yin-Wong Cheung & Sven Steinkamp & Frank Westermann, 2019. "A Tale of Two Surplus Countries: China and Germany," IEER Working Papers 114, Institute of Empirical Economic Research, Osnabrueck University.
    2. Michael G. Arghyrou & Maria Dolores Gadea, 2019. "Private bank deposits and macro/fiscal risk in the euro-area," CESifo Working Paper Series 7532, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. repec:bla:pacecr:v:23:y:2018:i:1:p:8-26 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Angrick, Stefan & Nemoto, Naoko, 2017. "Central Banking below Zero: The Implementation of Negative Interest Rate Policies in Europe and Japan," ADBI Working Papers 740, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    5. repec:cmn:journl:y:2018:i:1:p:1-17 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:wsi:jicepx:v:10:y:2019:i:01:n:s1793993319500029 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Joshua Aizenman & Yin-Wong Cheung & Hiro Ito, 2019. "The Interest Rate Effect on Private Saving: Alternative Perspectives," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 10(01), pages 1-37, February.
    8. Ignacio Hernando & Irene Pablos & Daniel Santabárbara & Javier Vallés, 2018. "Private saving. New cross-country evidencebased on bayesian techniques," Working Papers 1802, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration

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