IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Saving in Asia: Issues for Rebalancing Growth


  • Jha, Shikha

    (Asian Development Bank)

  • Prasad, Eswar

    (Cornell University)

  • Terada-Hagiwara, Akiko

    (Asian Development Bank)


This paper assesses the role of consumption and saving in Asia’s growth. It examines the composition of national saving, analyzes what forces drive saving rates, and draws policy conclusions from the analysis that are relevant for the economies in the region and which might play an important part in rebalancing global growth. The paper identifies a number of issues. A rapid rise in the profitability of state-owned and private enterprises together with distorted dividend policies and underdeveloped financial markets in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) seem to have contributed to the corporate sector saving spiral. Rising corporate saving rates in India can be attributed to lower corporate tax rates, customs duty, and interest rates along with restructuring of firms. Channeling corporate saving into investment will require elimination of policy distortions and financial sector development including availability of better saving instruments and improved business and investment climates. At the household level, demographic trends, financial development, and precautionary saving are revealed to be important for Asian savers. Two case studies from the PRC and Philippines suggest that these factors are interrelated and complement one another. The surge in urban households’ saving in the PRC has two main drivers. First, younger households lack access to credit and accumulate savings in order to purchase durable goods such as televisions, white goods, and automobiles. Second, most urban households undertake precautionary saving as a hedge against risks of illness or other healthcare expenses and in order to finance educational expenses. Hence policies that develop financial markets enabling borrowing against future income, and that rationalize public spending to increase social transfers, reform pension systems, and provide universal health care insurance and education, appear top priorities. These policies would moderate household saving rates and help in rebalancing growth toward consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Jha, Shikha & Prasad, Eswar & Terada-Hagiwara, Akiko, 2009. "Saving in Asia: Issues for Rebalancing Growth," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 162, Asian Development Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:adbewp:0162

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mohamed Hedi Bchir & Sébastien Jean & David Laborde, 2006. "Binding Overhang and Tariff-Cutting Formulas," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 142(2), pages 207-232, July.
    2. Prema-chandra Athukorala, 2005. "Product Fragmentation and Trade Patterns in East Asia," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 4(3), pages 1-27, Fall.
    3. Engle, Robert & Granger, Clive, 2015. "Co-integration and error correction: Representation, estimation, and testing," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 39(3), pages 106-135.
    4. Breusch, Trevor S & Wickens, Michael R., 1987. "Dynamic Specification, the Long Run and the Estimation of Transformed Regression Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 154, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
    6. Mats Furby, 2005. "Evaluating the Malaysian Export Processing Zones With special focus on the electronic industry," International Trade 0510004, EconWPA.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Kolasa, Marcin, 2014. "Real convergence and its illusions," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 79-88.
    2. Morgan, Peter J., 2012. "The role of macroeconomic policy in rebalancing growth," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 13-25.
    3. Horioka, Charles Yuji & Terada-Hagiwara, Akiko, 2012. "The determinants and long-term projections of saving rates in Developing Asia," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 128-137.
    4. Guonan Ma & Wang Yi, 2010. "China’s High Saving Rate: Myth and Reality," International Economics, CEPII research center, issue 122, pages 5-39.
    5. Clovis Kerdrain & Isabell Koske & Isabelle Wanner, 2010. "The Impact of Structural Policies on Saving, Investment and Current Accounts," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 815, OECD Publishing.
    6. Clovis Kerdrain & Isabell Koske & Isabelle Wanner, 2011. "Current Account Imbalances: can Structural Reforms Help to Reduce Them?," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2011(1), pages 1-44.
    7. Terada-Hagiwara, Akiko, 2009. "Explaining Filipino Households’ Declining Saving Rate," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 178, Asian Development Bank.
    8. Sahoo, Pravakar & Dash, Ranjan Kumar, 2013. "Financial sector development and domestic savings in South Asia," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 388-397.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ris:adbewp:0162. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Maria Susan M. Torres). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.