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The past decade has witnessed a decline in saving throughout the developed world—the United States has the dubious distinction of leading the way. The consequences can be serious. For individuals, their own economic security and that of their families is jeopardized. For society, inadequate rates of saving have been blamed for a variety of ills—decreasing the competitive abilities of American industry, slowing capital accumulation, increasing our trade deficit, and forcing the sale of capital stock to foreign investors at bargain prices. Restoring acceptable rates of saving in the United States poses a major challenge to those who formulate national economic policy, especially since economists and policymakers alike still understand little about what motivates people to save.
In National Saving and Economic Performance, edited by B. Douglas Bernheim and John B. Shoven, that task is addressed by offering the results of new research, with recommendations for policies aimed to improve saving. Leading experts in diverse fields of economics debate the need for more accurate measurement of official saving data; examine how corporate decisions to retain or distribute earnings affect household-level consumption and saving; and investigate the effects of taxation on saving behavior, correlations between national saving and international investment over time, and the influence of economic growth on saving.
Presenting the most comprehensive and up-to-date research on saving, this volume will benefit both academic and government economists.
Acknowledgments Introduction B. Douglas Bernheim and John B. Shoven
1. Market Value versus Financial Accounting Measures of National Saving David F. Bradford Comment: Joseph E. Stiglitz
2. Dividends, Capital Gains, and the Corporate Veil: Evidence from Britain, Canada, and the United States James M. Poterba Comment: Robert E. Hall
3. Corporate Savings and Shareholder Consumption Alan J. Auerbach and Kevin Hassett Comment: Angus S. Deaton
4. The Saving Effect of Tax-deferred Retirement Accounts: Evidence from SIPP Steven F. Venti and David A. Wise Comment: Michael Rothschild
5. Consumption Taxation in a General Equilibrium Model: How Reliable Are Simulation Results?
B. Douglas Bernheim, John Karl Scholz, and John B. Shoven Comment: Joel Slemrod
6. Taxes and Capital Formation: How Important Is Human Capital?
James Davies and John Whalley Comment: Sherwin Rosen
7. National Saving and International Investment Martin Feldstein and Philippe Bacchetta Comment: Rudiger Dornbusch
8. Quantifying International Capital Mobility in the 1980s Jeffrey A. Frankel Comment: Maurice Obstfeld
9. A Cross-Country Study of Growth, Saving, and Government Robert J. Barro Comment: James Tobin
10. Consumption Growth Parallels Income Growth: Some New Evidence Christopher D. Carroll and Lawrence H. Summers Comment: N. Gregory Mankiw
11. Saving Behavior in Ten Developing Countries Susan M. Collins Comment: Anne O. Krueger Contributors Author Index Subject Index