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The Global Rise of Corporate Saving

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  • Peter Chen
  • Loukas Karabarbounis
  • Brent Neiman

Abstract

The sectoral composition of global saving changed dramatically during the last three decades. Whereas in the early 1980s most of global investment was funded by household saving, nowadays nearly two-thirds of global investment is funded by corporate saving. This shift in the sectoral composition of saving was not accompanied by changes in the sectoral composition of investment, implying an improvement in the corporate net lending position. We characterize the behavior of corporate saving using both national income accounts and firm-level data and clarify its relationship with the global decline in labor share, the accumulation of corporate cash stocks, and the greater propensity for equity buybacks. We develop a general equilibrium model with product and capital market imperfections to explore quantitatively the determination of the flow of funds across sectors. Changes including declines in the real interest rate, the price of investment, and corporate income taxes generate increases in corporate profits and shifts in the supply of sectoral saving that are of similar magnitude to those observed in the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Chen & Loukas Karabarbounis & Brent Neiman, 2017. "The Global Rise of Corporate Saving," NBER Working Papers 23133, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23133
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    Cited by:

    1. Florian Botte & Laurent Cordonnier & Thomas Dallery & Vincent Duwicquet & Jordan Melmies & Franck Van de Velde, 2017. "The cost of capital: between losses and diversion of wealth
      [Le coût du capital : entre pertes et détournement de richesses]
      ," Working Papers hal-01711157, HAL.
    2. repec:zbw:ifweej:201813 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ponomarenko, Alexey A. & Ponomarenko, Alexey N., 2018. "What do aggregate saving rates (not) show?," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 12, pages 1-20.
    4. Antonia Lòpez-Villavicencio & Luis Antonio Reyes Ortiz, 2018. "Is globalisation taking away jobs? An empirical assessment for advanced economies," CEPN Working Papers halshs-01895223, HAL.
    5. Ayşe İmrohoroğlu & Kai Zhao, 2018. "Household Saving, Financial Constraints, and the Current Account in China," Working papers 2018-15, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    6. Bofinger, Peter & Ries, Mathias, 2017. "Excess saving and low interest rates: Theory and empirical evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 12111, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Juliane Begenau & Berardino Palazzo, 2017. "Firm Selection and Corporate Cash Holdings," NBER Working Papers 23249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Tatiana Cesaroni & Riccardo De Bonis & Luigi Infante, 2017. "Firms’ financial surpluses in advanced economies: the role of net foreign direct investments," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 411, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G35 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Payout Policy

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