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What is National Saving?: Alternative Measures in Historical and International Context

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  • David F. Bradford

Abstract

Most discussion of national saving behavior is based on national income account data. This paper lays out some of the main alternative conceptions of saving and to present data comparing recent U.S. saving behavior with its own past and with that of other nations. I argue, in particular, that more attention should be paid to measures of national wealth at asset market values. The main empirical contribution is to pull together data from the national balance sheets on wealth at market value compiled for the United States by the Flow of Funds Division of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (1989) and by various agencies sources in three other countries for which market value figures could be found: Japan, and Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Suggested Citation

  • David F. Bradford, 1990. "What is National Saving?: Alternative Measures in Historical and International Context," NBER Working Papers 3341, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3341
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert E. Lipsey & Helen Stone Tice, 1989. "The Measurement of Saving, Investment, and Wealth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number lips89-1.
    2. Bradford, D.F., 1989. "Market Value Us. Financial Accounting Measures Of National Saving," Papers 34, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
    3. N/A, 1989. "Annual Report," Evaluation Review, , vol. 13(3), pages 320-320, June.
    4. Thomas Holloway, 1989. "Present NIPA Saving Measures: Their Characteristics and Limitations," NBER Chapters,in: The Measurement of Saving, Investment, and Wealth, pages 21-100 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Fumio Hayashi, 1989. "Is Japan's saving rate high?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 3-9.
    6. Robert E. Lipsey & Irving B. Kravis, 1987. "Is the U.S. a Spendthrift Nation?," NBER Working Papers 2274, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Dale Jorgenson & Barbara M. Fraumeni, 1989. "The Accumulation of Human and Nonhuman Capital, 1948-84," NBER Chapters,in: The Measurement of Saving, Investment, and Wealth, pages 227-286 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. A Lusardi & J Skinner & S Venti, 2001. "Saving puzzles and saving policies in the United States," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 95-115, Spring.
    2. Michael Reiter, 1999. "Asset prices and the measurement of wealth and saving," Economics Working Papers 396, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    3. Roy H. Webb, 1993. "Personal saving behavior and real economic activity," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 68-94.
    4. Kaiji Chen & Ayse Imrohoroglu & Selahattin Imrohoroglu, 2006. "Secular Trends in U.S Saving and Consumption," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 494, Society for Computational Economics.
    5. Barry P. Bosworth & Ralph C. Bryant & Gary Burtless, 2004. "The Impact of Aging on Financial Markets and the Economy: A Survey," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College 2004-23, Center for Retirement Research.

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