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

  • David F. Bradford

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.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3341.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3341.

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Date of creation: Apr 1990
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Publication status: published as Eds., Charls E. Walker, MArk A. Bloomfield, Margo Thorning, The U.S. Savings Challenge: Policy Options for Productivity and Growth, Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1990,pp. 31-75
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3341
Note: PE
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  1. Bradford, D.F., 1989. "Market Value Us. Financial Accounting Measures Of National Saving," Papers 34, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  2. 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.
  3. 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, August.
  4. Fumio Hayashi, 1989. "Is Japan's saving rate high?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 3-9.
  5. 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.
  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.
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