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The savings collapse during the transition in Eastern Europe

  • Denizer, Cevdet
  • Wolf, Holger C.

The authors assess the presence and extent of involuntary savings by comparing the predicted savings rates of market economies with those of the pre-transition economies. On balance, predicted savings rates fell short of actual savings rates, especially for the former Soviet Union and the Baltics -- providing some support for the notion of excessive pre-transition savings. Comparing the savings behavior of market economies and transition economies, they found substantial similarities, except for a negative link between savings and GDP growth. As the fastest-growing transition economies are at the bottom of the adjustment J-curve, the finding is consistent with consumption smoothing. Finally, they explored whether differences in the extent of economic liberalization affected savings rates in the cross-section of transition economies. They found that liberalization is associated with lower savings, with a one-year lag. To the extent that liberalization is perceived as an indicator of likely future growth, this behavior is consistent with smoothing in the face of a J-curve change in output.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2419.

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Date of creation: 31 Aug 2000
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2419
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  1. Norman Loayza & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Luis Servén, 2000. "What Drives Private Saving Across the World?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 165-181, May.
  2. Tarr David G., 1994. "The Terms-of-Trade Effects of Moving to World Prices on Countries of the Former Soviet Union," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-24, February.
  3. Edwards, Sebastian, 1996. "Why are Latin America's savings rates so low? An international comparative analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 5-44, October.
  4. Richard Portes, 1986. "The Theory and Measurement of Macroeconomic Disequilibrium in Centrally Planned Economies," NBER Working Papers 1875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Easterly, William & Fischer, Stanley & DEC, 1994. "The Soviet economic decline : historical and republican data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1284, The World Bank.
  6. 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.
  7. Masson, Paul R & Bayoumi, Tamim & Samiei, Hossein, 1998. "International Evidence on the Determinants of Private Saving," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(3), pages 483-501, September.
  8. Reinhart, Carmen & Ostry, Jonathan, 1991. "Private Saving and Terms of Trade Shocks," MPRA Paper 13716, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Bennett, John & Boycko, Maxim, 1995. "Savings and Stabilization Policy in a Pre-Post-Socialist Economy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(3), pages 907-19, August.
  10. Carlos A. Végh Gramont & Ratna Sahay, 1995. "Inflation and Stabilization in Transition Economies; A Comparison with Market Economies," IMF Working Papers 95/8, International Monetary Fund.
  11. de Melo, Martha & Denizer, Cevdet & Gelb, Alan, 1996. "From plan to market : patterns of transition," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1564, The World Bank.
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