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Japan's Saving Rate: New Data and Reflections

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  • Fumio Hayashi

Abstract

This paper examines available evidence on Japan's wealth accumulation. Time-series evidence over the last one hundred years indicates that the phenomenon of extraordinarily high Japanese saving rate ia limited to the high-growth era of 1965-1975. Micro evidence about consumption and aaving by age can be more easily explained by the dynasty model than by the lifecycle hypothesis. The infinite horizon neoclassical growth model, while capable of generating the hump in the saving rate and explaining why it was preceded by the rapid GNP growth in the post-war period, leaves unanswered the question of why wealth accumulation in pre-war Japan was so slow. Perhaps growth in pre-war Japan was hampered by harmful effects of misguided government policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Fumio Hayashi, 1989. "Japan's Saving Rate: New Data and Reflections," NBER Working Papers 3205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3205
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Altonji, Joseph G & Hayashi, Fumio & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1992. "Is the Extended Family Altruistically Linked? Direct Tests Using Micro Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1177-1198, December.
    2. Lawrence J. Christiano, 1989. "Understanding Japan's saving rate: the reconstruction hypothesis," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 10-25.
    3. Fumio Hayashi, 1986. "Why Is Japan's Saving Rate So Apparently High?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 147-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Balke, Nathan S & Gordon, Robert J, 1989. "The Estimation of Prewar Gross National Product: Methodology and New Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 38-92, February.
    5. Fumio Hayashi, 1989. "Is Japan's saving rate high?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 3-9.
    6. Christopher D. Carroll & Lawrence H. Summers, 1991. "Consumption Growth Parallels Income Growth: Some New Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: National Saving and Economic Performance, pages 305-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maurice Obstfeld, 1993. "The Adjustment Mechanism," NBER Chapters,in: A Retrospective on the Bretton Woods System: Lessons for International Monetary Reform, pages 201-268 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Riccardo Cristadoro & Daniela Marconi, 2012. "Household savings in China," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 275-299, November.
    3. Balvers, Ronald J. & H. Bergstrand, Jeffrey, 1997. "Equilibrium real exchange rates: closed-form theoretical solutions and some empirical evidence," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 345-366, June.
    4. Bordo, Michael D. & Rockoff, Hugh, 1996. "The Gold Standard as a “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval”," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(02), pages 389-428, June.
    5. Michael D. Bordo & Finn E. Kydland, 1990. "The Gold Standard as a Rule," NBER Working Papers 3367, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Michael D. Bordo & Anna J. Schwartz, 1994. "The Specie Standard as a Contingent Rule: Some Evidence for Core and Peripheral Countries, 1880-1990," NBER Working Papers 4860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1993. "Industry evolution and transition: the role of information capital," Staff Report 162, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    8. Iwamoto, Yasushi, 1996. "Japan's saving rate is indeed lower than Professor Hayashi revealed," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 35-41, March.

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