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Does New Zealand have a household saving crisis?

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  • Le, Trinh

    (New Zealand Institute of Economic Research)

Abstract

Data from the Household Income and Outlay Accounts (HIOA) show that the ratio of household saving to disposable income has been negative since the early 1990s and has declined steeply since 2000. These data have led many people to believe that New Zealand has a household saving crisis which will result in a crisis in retirement incomes in due course. These concerns have been expressed by certain key politicians. The upshot has been the enactment of several policies, notably: • the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (2003), a scheme under which the government runs budget surpluses to invest in a fund to be able to cater for the costs of the universal pension when the population ages; • the State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme (2004), an employer subsidised saving scheme for state sector employees; and • Kiwisaver (2007), an employment related superannuation scheme in which the government provides inducements for joining, on-going subsidies for fund managers and tax breaks for participant employees and their employers. From April 2008 employers will be required to make contributions to the saving of their employees who are members. A review of the existing measures of household saving in New Zealand shows little evidence of a saving problem. Indeed, the data that the proponents of saving policies have used poorly reflect the true household saving performance. Other data sources indicate that household saving is not only positive but has also been rising considerably in recent years.

Suggested Citation

  • Le, Trinh, 2007. "Does New Zealand have a household saving crisis?," NZIER Working Paper 2007/1, New Zealand Institute of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:nzierw:2007_001
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Trinh Le & Grant Scobie & John Gibson, 2009. "Are Kiwis saving enough for retirement? Evidence from SOFIE," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 3-19.
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    Cited by:

    1. Emma Gorman & Grant M Scobie & Yongjoon Paek, 2013. "Measuring Saving Rates in New Zealand: An Update," Treasury Working Paper Series 13/04, New Zealand Treasury.
    2. Bowers, Melissa R. & Hall, J. Reggie & Srinivasan, Mandyam M., 2017. "Organizational culture and leadership style: The missing combination for selecting the right leader for effective crisis management," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 551-563.
    3. Trinh Le & John Gibson & Steven Stillman, 2012. "Wealth and saving in New Zealand: evidence from the longitudinal survey of family, income and employment," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(2), pages 93-118, November.
    4. Trinh Le & John Gibson & Steven Stillman, 2010. "Household Wealth and Saving in New Zealand: Evidence from the Longitudinal Survey of Family, Income and Employment," Working Papers 10_06, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Households; Savings; New Zealand;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance

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