Pubic Debt and U.S. Saving: A New Test of the Neutrality Hypothesis
The substantial post war decline in the U.S. saving rate has added great impetus to the debate over whether public debt policy crowds out saving. Rather than attempting to reject specific saving models, empirical research on debt policy and savings has primarily focused on the impact of particular policy variables on savings. In this paper we examine Barro's infinite horizon, intergenerationally altruistic model. A distinguishing feature of this modelis that aggregate consumption depends only on collective resources and not the age distribution of resources.To test this proposition we specify the Barro model under earnings uncertainty, rate of return uncertainty, and demographic change and test whether, given the level of consumption predicted by this model, variables measuring the age distribution of resources influence actual consumption. Data on the age distribution of resources are primarily obtained from the annual Current Population Surveys. Our results imply a rejection of the hypothesis that aggregate consumption is independent of the age distribution of resources.They therefore cast doubt on the contention that government debt policy does not affect consumption and saving.
|Date of creation:||Jun 1985|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Boskin, Michael J. and Laurence J. Kotlikoff. "Public Debt and United States Saving: A New Test of the Neutrality Hypothesis." Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Vol. 23, (1985), pp. 55-86.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Feldstein, Martin S, 1974. "Social Security, Induced Retirement, and Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 905-26, Sept./Oct.
- Roger H. Gordon, 1983.
"Social Security And Labor Supply Incentives,"
Contemporary Economic Policy,
Western Economic Association International, vol. 1(3), pages 16-22, 04.
- Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1983.
"National Savings, Economic Welfare, and the Structure of Taxation,"
in: Behavioral Simulation Methods in Tax Policy Analysis, pages 459-498
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alan J. Auerbach & Lawrence Kotlikoff, 1980. "National Savings, Economic Welfare, and the Structure of Taxation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 570, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1981. "National Savings, Economic Welfare, and the Structure of Taxation," NBER Working Papers 0729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Campbell, John, 1986.
"Bond and Stock Returns in a Simple Exchange Model,"
3122544, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- David, Martin & Menchik, Paul L, 1985. "The Effect of Social Security on Lifetime Wealth Accumulation and Bequests," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 52(208), pages 421-34, November.
- Michael J. Boskin, 1978. "Taxation, Saving, and the Rate of Interest," NBER Chapters, in: Research in Taxation, pages 3-27 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Diamond, P. A. & Hausman, J. A., 1984. "Individual retirement and savings behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 81-114.
- Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002.
Handbook of Public Economics,
in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324
- Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-87, December.
- David, Paul A & Scadding, John L, 1974. "Private Savings: Ultrarationality, Aggregation, and "Denison's Law."," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 225-49, Part I, M.
- Eisner, Robert & Pieper, Paul J, 1986. "A New View of the Federal Debt and Budget Deficits: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1156-57, December.
- Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1983. "Stochastic Consumption, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Asset Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 249-65, April.
- Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1979. "Social Security and Equilibrium Capital Intensity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(2), pages 233-253.
- N. Gregory Mankiw & Julio J. Rotemberg & Lawrence H. Summers, 1985.
"Intertemporal Substitution in Macroeconomics,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 100(1), pages 225-251.
- Boskin, Michael J, 1978. "Taxation, Saving, and the Rate of Interest," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(2), pages S3-27, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1646. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.