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National Saving and Economic Performance

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.

Table of Contents

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

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