A Comparison of National Saving Rates in the UK, US and Italy

Pub. Date
28 July, 2006
Pub. Type

We develop the approach of Gokhale, Kotlikoff & Sabelhaus (1996), based on the lifecycle model of savings, to decompose the differences in the national saving rates between the UK, US and Italy. Our work suggests that the US saving rate is lower principally because Americans on average retire later. In contrast, the Italian saving rate is higher predominantly because Italians are credit constrained, particularly when young. We also found that demography and the different tax and benefit systems are able to explain little of the cross-sectional differences in saving rates. The study accounts for the possible importance of intergenerational private transfers in determining saving rates.