Neglected Heterogeneity and Dynamics in Cross-Country Savings Regressions

38 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2001

Date Written: September 1999


This paper examines the extent to which conclusions of cross-country studies of private savings are robust to allowing for the possible heterogeneity of savings behavior across countries and the inclusion of dynamics. It shows that neglecting heterogeneity and dynamics can lead to misleading inferences about the key determinants of savings behavior. The results indicate that among the many variables considered in the literature only the fiscal variables—the general government surplus as a proportion of GDP and the ratio of government consumption to GDP—are important determinants of private savings rates in the industrial countries in the post-World War II period.

Keywords: WP, mover accent, Saving behavior, OECD, cross-country studies, panel data models, slope heterogeneity, dynamics, Ricardian effect, slope coefficient, MG estimate, long-run coefficient, savings rate, panel data, country regression, coefficient estimate, wealth-GDP ratio, Private savings, Income, Real interest rates, Government consumption

JEL Classification: E21, C23, E25, E43, H50

Suggested Citation

-, International Monetary Fund, Neglected Heterogeneity and Dynamics in Cross-Country Savings Regressions (September 1999). Available at SSRN: or

International Monetary Fund - (Contact Author)

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