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Income inequality and aggregate saving : the cross-country evidence

Listed author(s):
  • Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus
  • Serven, Luis

The authors empirically review and analyze the link between income distribution and aggregate savings. Recent research has focused on the impact of income inequality and growth. Less attention has been paid to the link between inequality and savings. Once the conventional representative-agent framework is abandoned, consumption theory brings out channels through which income inequality can affect aggregate saving. The authors present new econometric evidence on the link between saving and inequality using new data on income distribution for a large cross-country sample. The results provide no evidence that income inequality affects aggregate saving across countries. This conclusion holds for both industrial and developing countries and is open to changes in measures of saving, in income distribution indicators, and in functional forms.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1561.

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Date of creation: 31 Jan 1996
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1561
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  8. Sebastian Edwards, 1995. "Why are Saving Rates so Different Across Countries?: An International Comparative Analysis," NBER Working Papers 5097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Deininger, K & Squire, L, 1996. "Measuring Income Inequality : A New Data-Base," Papers 537, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
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  12. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
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  14. Menchik, Paul L & David, Martin, 1983. "Income Distribution, Lifetime Savings, and Bequests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 672-690, September.
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  16. Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1996. "Income Distribution, Political Instability, and Investment," Scholarly Articles 4553018, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  17. Maddison, Angus, 1992. " A Long-Run Perspective on Saving," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(2), pages 181-196.
  18. Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus & Webb, Steven B & Corsetti, Giancarlo, 1992. "Household Saving in Developing Countries: First Cross-Country Evidence," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(3), pages 529-547, September.
  19. Clarke, George R. G., 1995. "More evidence on income distribution and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 403-427, August.
  20. Gupta, K L, 1970. "Personal Saving in Developing Nations: Further Evidence," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 46(114), pages 243-249, June.
  21. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 706-732, August.
  22. Leff, Nathaniel H, 1969. "Dependency Rates and Savings Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(5), pages 886-896, December.
  23. Alan P. Kirman, 1992. "Whom or What Does the Representative Individual Represent?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 117-136, Spring.
  24. Blinder, Alan S, 1975. "Distribution Effects and the Aggregate Consumption Function," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(3), pages 447-475, June.
  25. Reinhart, Carmen & Ogaki, Masao & Ostry, Jonathan, 1995. "Saving behavior in low- and middle-income developing countries," MPRA Paper 13757, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  26. Tullio Jappelli & Marco Pagano, 1994. "Saving, Growth, and Liquidity Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 83-109.
  27. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
  28. Adelman, Irma & Robinson, Sherman, 1989. "Income distribution and development," Handbook of Development Economics,in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 19, pages 949-1003 Elsevier.
  29. Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 149-187, June.
  30. Christopher D. Carroll & Lawrence H. Summers, 1991. "Consumption Growth Parallels Income Growth: Some New Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: National Saving and Economic Performance, pages 305-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Anand, Sudhir & Kanbur, S. M. R., 1993. "The Kuznets process and the inequality--development relationship," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 25-52, February.
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