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The spirit of capitalism and savings behavior

  • Heng-fu Zou

    (Policy Research Department, The World Bank
    Institute of Advanced Economic Studies, Wuhan University)

This paper presents a capitalist-spirit model of savings by including wealth in the intertemporal utility function. While this model includes the life-cycle model and bequest model as two special cases, it sheds light on why wealth holding has tended to increase with age, why decumulation of wealth after retirement has not happened, and why households with and without children have not shown significant differences in their savings behavior. The capitalist-spirit approach is especially useful for understanding savings by the rich and savings across countries and over time.

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Paper provided by China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics in its series CEMA Working Papers with number 79.

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Length: 13 pages
Date of creation: 1995
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Volume 28, Issue 1, September 1995, Pages 131-143
Handle: RePEc:cuf:wpaper:79
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cema.cufe.edu.cn/
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  1. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-46, June.
  2. Heng-fu Zou, 1995. "'The spirit of capitalism' and long-run growth," CEMA Working Papers 94, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  3. De Long, J Bradford, 1988. "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1138-54, December.
  4. Heng-fu Zou, 1993. "The Capitalist-Spirit Approach to Growth: A Perspective from the History of Economic Analysis," CEMA Working Papers 476, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  5. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  6. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (II): Distribution," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 2, number mill1848-2.
  7. Heng-fu Zou, 2011. "The Spirit of Capitalism, Savings, Asset Pricing and Growth," CEMA Working Papers 502, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  8. Fumio Hayashi, 1986. "Why Is Japan's Saving Rate So Apparently High?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 147-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (I): Production," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 1, number mill1848-1.
  10. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (III): Exchange," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 3, number mill1848-3.
  11. 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.
  12. Blinder, Alan S, 1973. "A Model of Inherited Wealth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 608-26, November.
  13. Michael D. Hurd, 1986. "Savings and Bequests," NBER Working Papers 1826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. J. B. Burbidge & A. L. Robb, 1985. "Evidence on Wealth-Age Profiles in Canadian Cross-Section Data," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 18(4), pages 854-75, November.
  15. Sheldon Danziger & Jacques Van Der Gaag & Eugene Smolensky & Michael K. Taussig, 1983. "The Life-Cycle Hypothesis and the Consumption Behavior of the Elderly," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 5(2), pages 208-227, January.
  16. Menchik, Paul L, 1980. "Primogeniture, Equal Sharing, and the U. S. Distribution of Wealth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 299-316, March.
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