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Household Saving and Permanent Income in Canada and the United Kingdom


  • John Y. Campbell
  • Richard H. Clarida


Recent theoretical research in open-economy macroeconomics has emphasized the connection between a country's current account and the intertemporal savings and investment choices of its households, firms, and governments. In this paper, we assess the empirical relevance of the permanent income theory of household saving, a key building block of recent theoretical models of the current account. Using the econometric approach of Campbell (1987), we are able to reject the theory on quarterly aggregate data in Canada and the United Kingdom. However, we also assess the economic significance of these statistical rejections by comparing the behavior of saving with that of an unrestricted vector autoregressive (VAR) forecast of future changes in disposable labor income. If the theory is true, saving should be the best available predictor of future changes in disposable labor income. We find the correlation between saving and the unrestricted VAR forecast to be extremely high in both countries. The results suggest that the theory provides a useful description of the dynamic behavior of household saving in Canada and Britain.

Suggested Citation

  • John Y. Campbell & Richard H. Clarida, 1987. "Household Saving and Permanent Income in Canada and the United Kingdom," NBER Working Papers 2223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2223
    Note: EFG

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    Cited by:

    1. Engsted, Tom, 1996. "The predictive power of the money market term structure," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 289-295, June.
    2. Pedersen, Karsten N., 1991. "Intertemporal substitution in consumption : evidence for some high- and middle-income countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 641, The World Bank.
    3. Chyng-Hua Shen, 1997. "Testing for foreign exchange market efficiency - a trivariate vector autoregressive approach," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(6), pages 711-719.
    4. Engsted, Tom, 1998. "Money Demand During Hyperinflation: Cointegration, Rational Expectations, and the Importance of Money Demand Shocks," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 533-552, July.

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