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Do the Rich Save More in Canada?

Author

Listed:
  • Sule Alan
  • Kadir Atalay
  • Thomas F. Crossley

Abstract

This paper is an attempt to answer the long standing question of whether households with higher lifetime income save a larger fraction of their income. The major difficulty in empirically assessing the relationship between lifetime incomes and saving rates is to construct a credible proxy for lifetime income. The Canadian Family Expenditure Survey (FAMEX) provides us with both unusually good data on savings rates and potential instruments with which we can construct reliable lifetime income proxies. Our empirical analysis suggests that the estimated relationship between saving rates and lifetime incomes is sensitive to the instrument used to proxy lifetime income. Nevertheless, our preferred estimates indicate that, except for poorest households (who simply do not save), saving rates do not differ substantially across lifetime income groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Sule Alan & Kadir Atalay & Thomas F. Crossley, 2006. "Do the Rich Save More in Canada?," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 406, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:qseprr:406
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hubbard, R Glenn & Skinner, Jonathan & Zeldes, Stephen P, 1995. "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 360-399, April.
    2. B. Douglas Bernheim & John Karl Scholz, 1993. "Private Saving and Public Policy," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 7, pages 73-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Huggett, Mark & Ventura, Gustavo, 2000. "Understanding why high income households save more than low income households," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 361-397, April.
    4. Milton Friedman, 1957. "Introduction to "A Theory of the Consumption Function"," NBER Chapters,in: A Theory of the Consumption Function, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Matthew Brzozowski & Thomas F. Crossley, 2011. "Viewpoint: Measuring the well-being of the poor with income or consumption: a Canadian perspective," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(1), pages 88-106, February.
    6. John Burbidge & Deborah Fretz & Michael R. Veall, 1998. "Canadian and American Saving Rates and the Role of RRSPs," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 24(2), pages 259-263, June.
    7. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1, April.
    8. Gary V. Engelhardt, 1996. "Tax Subsidies and Household Saving: Evidence from Canada," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1237-1268.
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    10. Karen E. Dynan & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2004. "Do the Rich Save More?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 397-444, April.
    11. Kevin Milligan, 2002. "Tax-preferred savings accounts and marginal tax rates: evidence on RRSP participation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(3), pages 436-456, August.
    12. Garry Barrett & Peter Levell & Kevin Milligan, 2014. "A Comparison of Micro and Macro Expenditure Measures across Countries Using Differing Survey Methods," NBER Chapters,in: Improving the Measurement of Consumer Expenditures, pages 263-286 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Peter Diamond & Johannes Spinnewijn, 2011. "Capital Income Taxes with Heterogeneous Discount Rates," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 52-76, November.
    14. Sule Alan & Kadir Atalay & Thomas F. Crossley, 2006. "Do the Rich Save More in Canada?," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 406, McMaster University.
    15. John Burbidge & James B. Davies, 1994. "Household Data on Saving Behavior in Canada," NBER Chapters,in: International Comparisons of Household Saving, pages 11-56 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    17. Christopher D. Carroll & Byung-Kun Rhee & Changyong Rhee, 1994. "Are There Cultural Effects on Saving? Some Cross-Sectional Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 685-699.
    18. Venti, Steven F & Wise, David A, 1998. "The Cause of Wealth Dispersion at Retirement: Choice or Chance?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 185-191, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. García-Cicco, Javier & Kawamura, Enrique, 2015. "Dealing with the Dutch disease: Fiscal rules and macro-prudential policies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, pages 205-239.
    2. Sule Alan & Kadir Atalay & Thomas F. Crossley, 2006. "Do the Rich Save More in Canada?," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 406, McMaster University.
    3. Antoine Bozio & Carl Emmerson & Cormac O'Dea & Gemma Tetlow, 2013. "Savings and wealth of the lifetime rich: evidence from the UK and US," IFS Working Papers W13/30, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    4. Néstor Gandelman, 2015. "A Comparison of Saving Rates: Micro Evidence from Seventeen Latin American and Caribbean Countries," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 90556, Inter-American Development Bank.
    5. HORI Masahiro & IWAMOTO Koichiro & NIIZEKI Takeshi & SUGA Fumihiko, 2015. "Do the Rich Save More in Japan? Evidence Based on Two Micro Datasets for the 2000s," ESRI Discussion paper series 322, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    6. Bertrand Garbinti & Pierre Lamarche, 2014. "Les hauts revenus épargnent‑ils davantage ?," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 472(1), pages 49-64.
    7. Rowena Crawford & Andrew Hood, 2015. "A tale of three distributions: inheritances, wealth and lifetime income," IFS Working Papers W15/14, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    8. Néstor Gandelman, 2017. "Do the rich save more in Latin America?," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 15(1), pages 75-92, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    saving rates; lifetime income; permanent income;

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

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