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A Comparison of National Saving Rates in the UK, US and Italy

  • Tatiana Kirsanova

    (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)

  • James Sefton

    (Imperial College)

We develop the approach of Gokhale et al. (1996), based on the life-cycle model of savings, to decompose the di?erences in the national saving rates between the UK, US and Italy. Our work suggests that the US saving rate is lower principally because Americans on average retire later. In contrast, the Italian saving rate is higher predominantly because Italians are credit constrained, particularly when young. We also found that demography and the di?erent tax and bene?t systems are able to explain little of the cross-sectional di?erences in saving rates. The study accounts for the possible importance of intergenerational private transfers in determining saving rates.

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File URL: http://people.exeter.ac.uk/cc371/RePEc/dpapers/DP0612.pdf
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Paper provided by Exeter University, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 0612.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:exe:wpaper:0612
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  1. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 2000. "Growth and Saving Among Individuals and Households," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 212-225, May.
  2. Farmer, Roger E A, 1990. "Rince Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 43-60, February.
  3. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1989. "Consumption and Capital Market Imperfections: An International Comparison," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1088-1105, December.
  4. Das, Marcel & Donkers, Bas, 1999. "How Certain Are Dutch Households about Future Income? An Empirical Analysis," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(3), pages 325-38, September.
  5. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio, 1991. "Intergenerational transfers and capital market imperfections : Evidence from a cross-section of Italian households," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 103-120, January.
  6. Cardarelli, Roberto & Sefton, James & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 2000. "Generational Accounting in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(467), pages F547-74, November.
  7. Orazio Attanasio, 1993. "A cohort analysis of saving behaviour by US households," IFS Working Papers W93/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. Caballero, Ricardo J, 1991. "Earnings Uncertainty and Aggregate Wealth Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 859-71, September.
  9. Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244, March.
  10. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2002. "An Empirical Analysis of Earnings and Employment Risk," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(2), pages 241-53, April.
  11. James M. Poterba, 1994. "International Comparisons of Household Saving," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote94-1, November.
  12. Tatiana Kirsanova & James Sefton, 2006. "A Comparison of National Saving Rates in the UK, US and Italy," Discussion Papers 0612, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  13. Arie Kapteyn & Constantijn Panis, 2003. "The Size and Composition of Wealth Holdings in the United States, Italy, and the Netherlands," Working Papers 03-05, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  14. Orazio P. Attanasio, 1998. "Cohort Analysis of Saving Behavior by U.S. Households," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(3), pages 575-609.
  15. Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 1999. "The Dynamics of Household Wealth Accumulation in Italy," CSEF Working Papers 27, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 01 Dec 2000.
  16. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1992. " Saving and Capital Market Imperfections: The Italian Experience," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(2), pages 197-213.
  17. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & John Sabelhaus, 1996. "Understanding the Postwar Decline in U.S. Saving: A Cohort Analysis," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 315-407.
  18. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1992. "Earnings Uncertainty and Precautionary Saving," CEPR Discussion Papers 699, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Slesnick, Daniel T, 1992. "Aggregate Consumption and Saving in the Postwar United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(4), pages 585-97, November.
  20. W. G. Gale & J. K. Scholz, . "Intergenerational transfers and the accumulation of wealth," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1019-93, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  21. James M. Poterba, 1994. "Introduction to "International Comparisons of Household Saving"," NBER Chapters, in: International Comparisons of Household Saving, pages 1-10 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Holmans, A. E., 1994. "House prices, land prices, the housing market and house purchase debt in the UK and other countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 157-199, April.
  23. Banks, James & Blundell, Richard & Preston, Ian, 1994. "Life-cycle expenditure allocations and the consumption costs of children," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1391-1410, August.
  24. Tullio Jappelli & Marco Pagano, 1994. "Personal Saving in Italy," NBER Chapters, in: International Comparisons of Household Saving, pages 237-268 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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