The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Francesco Grigoli, Alexander Herman, and Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
This paper presents new evidence on the behavior of saving in the world, by extending previous empirical research in five dimensions. First, it is based on a very large and recent database, covering 165 countries from 1981 to 2012. Second, it conducts a robustness analysis across different estimation techniques. Third, the empirical search is expanded by including potential saving determinants identified by theory but not previously considered in the empirical literature. Fourth, the paper explores differences in saving behavior nesting the 2008-10 crisis period and four different country groups. Finally, it also searches for commonalities and differences in behavior across national, private, household, and corporate saving rates. The results confirm in part existing research, shed light on some ambiguous or contradictory findings, and highlight the role of neglected determinants. Compared to the literature, we find a larger number of significant determinants of saving rates, using different estimators, for different periods and country groups, and for different saving aggregates.