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What drives private saving around the world?

  • Loayza, Norman
  • Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus
  • Serven, Luis

The authors investigate the policy and non-policy factors behind saving disparities, using a large panel data set and an encompassing approach including several relevant determinants of private saving. They extend the literature in several dimensions, by: 1) Using the largest data set on aggregate saving assembled to date. 2) Using panel instrumental variable techniques to correct for endogeneity and heterogeneity. 3) Performing robustness checks on changes in estimation procedures, data samples, and model specification. Their main empirical findings: a) Private saving rates show considerable inertia (are highly serially correlated even after controlling for other relevant factors). b) Private sector rates rise with the level and growth rate of real per capita income. So policies that spur development are in indirect but effective way to raise private saving rates. c) Predictions of the life-cycle hypothesis are supported in that dependency ratios generally have a negative effect on private saving rates. d) The precautionary motive for saving is supported by the finding that inflation - conventionally taken as a summary measure of macroeconomic volatility - has a positive impact on private saving, holding other facts constant. e) Fiscal policy is a moderately effective tool for raising national saving. F) the direct effect of financial liberalization are largely detrimental to private saving rates. Greater availability of credit reduces the private saving rate; financial depth and higher real interest rates do not increase saving.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2309.

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Date of creation: 31 Mar 2000
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2309
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  1. Jeannine Bailliu & Helmut Reisen, 1998. "Do funded pensions contribute to higher aggregate savings? A cross-country analysis," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 134(4), pages 692-711, December.
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  5. Corbo, Vittorio & Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus, 1991. "Public policies and saving in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 574, The World Bank.
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  9. Easterly, William & Loayza, Norman & Montiel, Peter, 1997. "Has Latin America's post-reform growth been disappointing?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3-4), pages 287-311, November.
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  12. Chamberlain, Gary, 1984. "Panel data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1247-1318 Elsevier.
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  15. Francesco Caselli & Gerardo Esquivel & Fernando Lefort, 1997. "Reopening the Convergence Debate: A New Look at Cross-Country Growth Empirics," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 03, Central Bank of Chile.
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  17. Alonso-Borrego, Cesar & Arellano, Manuel, 1999. "Symmetrically Normalized Instrumental-Variable Estimation Using Panel Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(1), pages 36-49, January.
  18. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
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  23. Norman Loayza & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Luis Servén, 2000. "Saving in Developing Countries: An Overview," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(3), pages 393-414, September.
  24. Agustín Maravall & Cristophe Planas, 1996. "Estimation Error and the Specification of Unobserved Component Models," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 9608, Banco de Espa�a.
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  30. J. Humberto Lopez & K. Schmidt-Hebbel & Luis Servén, 2000. "How Effective is Fiscal Policy in Raising National Saving?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 226-238, May.
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