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Have Working-Class Americans Always Been Low Savers? Savings and Accumulation Before the Advent of Social Insurance: The United States, 1885-1910

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  • Thomas, M.
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    The questions raised by this paper include the following: Did working-class American families around the turn of the twentieth century save more for precautionary purposes, to finance retirement or to provide for unforeseen circumstances such as unemployment, illnesses, or accidents before the advent of social insurance? Or have American workers always been low savers, culturally or economically deaf to the virtues of thrift, or reliant perhaps on informal social safety nets provided locally through churches, friends or family members? Or, perhaps, differences in other relevant factors, such as old-age life expectancy and age at retirement, were sufficient to offset private saving needed in the absence of social insurance?

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    Paper provided by Houston - Department of Economics in its series Papers with number 98-06.

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    Length: 29 pages
    Date of creation: 1998
    Handle: RePEc:fth:housto:98-06
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