IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Issues in National Savings Policy


  • Lawrence H. Summers


This paper reviews a number of issues relating to the policy goal of increasing national savings. The first section considers the measurement and definition of national savings. Comparisons of current US savings rates with those of other countries and with the past US experience are presented. The second section considers possible avenues through which public policy can increase natianal savings. While most discussion has centered on the effects of changes in the rate of return received by savers, this is far from the only channel through which policy can effect savings. I conclude that changes in public savings or dissaving through budget surpluses or deficits are the most potent and reliable policy tool for altering the saving rate. The third section of the paper examines a crucial savings policy question. Where will extra savings go? Both empirical estimates and econometric model simulations suggest will find their way into increased plant and equipment investment. A major effect of increased savings would be to reduce capital inflows and improve American competitiveness.

Suggested Citation

  • Lawrence H. Summers, 1985. "Issues in National Savings Policy," NBER Working Papers 1710, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1710
    Note: PE EFG

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-329, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1990. "Have IRAs Increased U. S. Saving?: Evidence from Consumer Expenditure Surveys," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 661-698.
    3. Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Debt problems and macroeconomic policies," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 165-208.
    4. David F. Bradford, 1989. "Market Value Vs. Financial Accounting Measures of National Saving," NBER Working Papers 2906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Michael J. Boskin, 1987. "Concepts and Measures of Federal Deficits and Debt and Their Impact on Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 2332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Corbo, Vittorio & Fischer, Stanley, 1991. "Adjustment programs and Bank support : rationale and main results," Policy Research Working Paper Series 582, The World Bank.
    7. van Wijnbergen, Sweder, 1988. "Monopolistic competition, credibility and the output costs of disinflation programs An analysis of price controls," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 375-398, November.
    8. Michael J. Boskin, 1987. "Future Social Security Financing Alternatives and National Saving," NBER Working Papers 2256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1710. 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: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.