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Recent Evidence on Budget Deficits and National Savings


  • James M. Poterba
  • Lawrence H. Summers


This paper examines the recent United States experience with sustained budget deficits and concludes that the events of the last five years cast significant doubt on the proposition that the timing of taxes does not affect national savings. Rather than raising private saving, the recent deficits have if anything coincided with reduced saving and increased consumption. These findings suggest that realistic analysis of fiscal policies must recognize that consumers are liquidity constrained and/or myopic.

Suggested Citation

  • James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1987. "Recent Evidence on Budget Deficits and National Savings," NBER Working Papers 2144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2144
    Note: ME EFG PE

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    1. Feltenstein, Andrew & Lebow, David & van Wijnbergen, Sweder, 1990. "Savings, Commodity Market Rationing, and the Real Rate of Interest in China," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 22(2), pages 234-252, May.
    2. Richard Portes, 1986. "The Theory and Measurement of Macroeconomic Disequilibrium in Centrally Planned Economies," NBER Working Papers 1875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Feltenstein, Andrew & Farhadian, Ziba, 1987. "Fiscal Policy, Monetary Targets, and the Price Level in a Centrally Planned Economy: An Application to the Case of China," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 19(2), pages 137-156, May.
    4. Chow, Gregory C, 1985. "A Model of Chinese National Income Determination," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 782-792, August.
    5. Spanos,Aris, 1986. "Statistical Foundations of Econometric Modelling," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521269124, May.
    6. Hwang, Hae-shin, 1985. "Test of the Adjustment Process and Linear Homogeneity in a Stock Adjustment Model of Money Demand," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(4), pages 689-692, November.
    7. Portes, Richard & Winter, David, 1978. "The Demand for Money and for Consumption Goods in Centrally Planned Economies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(1), pages 8-18, February.
    8. Richard Portes & David Winter, 1980. "Disequilibrium Estimates for Consumption Goods Markets in Centrally Planned Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 137-159.
    9. Granger, C W J, 1969. "Investigating Causal Relations by Econometric Models and Cross-Spectral Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 424-438, July.
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