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Education Saving Incentives and Household Saving: Evidence from the 2000 TIAA-CREF Survey of Participant Finances

  • Jennifer Ma
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    This paper examines the effects of education saving incentives on the level of private saving by households. Little is known about this subject. One explanation for this gap in the literature is that because education saving incentives are relatively new, data on education saving are not readily available. Using wealth data from a survey of TIAA-CREF participants, this paper attempts to estimate whether saving in education saving programs offsets other household saving. As in the extant literature of the impact of retirement saving programs on household saving, an empirical challenge is how to deal with the issue of saver heterogeneity. In this paper, two strategies are used to address this issue. The first strategy distinguishes savers from non-savers by whether households have an IRA or a supplemental pension plan. The second strategy uses the propensity score approach to control for unobserved heterogeneity in taste for saving. Results from both strategies suggest that education saving incentives in general do not offset other household saving and stimulate saving for households with high propensities to use education savings accounts.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w9505.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9505.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2003
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    Publication status: published as Hoxby, Caroline M. (ed.) College Choices: The Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How to Pay For It. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2004.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9505
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    1. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1999. "Taxation and Saving," NBER Working Papers 7061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Gale, W.G. & scholz, J.K., 1992. "IRAS and Household Saving," Papers 9244, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
    3. R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan S. Skinner, 1996. "Assessing the Effectiveness of Saving Incentives," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 73-90, Fall.
    4. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1996. "How Retirement Saving Programs Increase Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 91-112, Fall.
    5. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Causal Effects in Non-Experimental Studies: Re-Evaluating the Evaluation of Training Programs," NBER Working Papers 6586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Venti, Steven F. & Wise, David A., 1995. "Individual response to a retirement saving program: results from U.S. panel data," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 235-254, September.
    7. R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan S. Skinner, 1996. "Assessing the Effectiveness of Saving Incentives," Books, American Enterprise Institute, number 53540, 2.
    8. Eric M. Engen & William G. Gale & John Karl Scholz, 1996. "The Illusory Effects of Saving Incentives on Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 113-138, Fall.
    9. Eric M. Engen & William G. Gale, 2000. "The Effects of 401(k) Plans on Household Wealth: Differences Across Earnings Groups," NBER Working Papers 8032, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1992. "Government Policy and Personal Retirement Saving," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 6, pages 1-42 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Poterba, James M. & Venti, Steven F. & Wise, David A., 1995. "Do 401(k) contributions crowd out other personal saving?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 1-32, September.
    12. Poterba, J.M. & Venti, S.F. & Wise, D.A., 1992. "401(k) Plans and Tax-Deferred Savings," Working papers 92-14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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