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Can Skill Biased Technological Progress Have a Role in the Decline of the Savings Rate?

  • Areendam Chanda

    (North Carolina State University)

This paper explores the consequences of skill biased technological progress on the savings rates. The literature, both theoretical and empirical, on the causes and consequences of skill biased technological progress in the past few years has burgeoned considerably. So has the literature on declining household savings, motivated by the American experience over the past couple of decades. I present a general equilibrium model where declining savings rates emerges as an outcome of exogenously driven skill biased technological progress. The link between the two is attributed to optimizing behavior of altruistic households. In an overlapping generations model, parents are assumed to derive utility from both spending on their children's education and making monetary transfers (or bequests). I show that increases in the growth rate of skill biased technological change causes a shift in allocations away from bequests in favor of education- leading to a decline in domestic capital accumulation. The analysis is extended to incorporate life cycle savings both under certainty and uncertainty regarding the timing of death.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Macroeconomics with number 0202004.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 22 Feb 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0202004
Note: Type of Document - PDF; prepared on IBM PC - PC-TEX; to print on HP/PostScript/Franciscan monk; pages: 43; figures: included. We never published this piece and now we would like to reduce our mailing and xerox cost by posting it.
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  8. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 2000. "Changes in the Wage Structure, Family Income, and Children's Education," NBER Working Papers 7986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. 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 706-32, August.
  19. Abel, Andrew B, 1985. "Precautionary Saving and Accidental Bequests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 777-91, September.
  20. William G. Gale & John Sabelhaus, 1999. "Perspectives on the Household Saving Rate," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 30(1), pages 181-224.
  21. Zhang, Jie & Zhang, Junsen & Lee, Ronald, 2003. "Rising longevity, education, savings, and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 83-101, February.
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