OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

The Saving Behaviour of Japanese Households

This paper surveys Japanese saving behaviour, whose rate is one of the highest among OECD countries. Macroeconomic factors such as rates of economic growth and inflation may have been important in explaining the high saving rate in the past and the more recent downward trend. Even though growth is now rather lower than in the past, there remain important structural factors which explain the high rate of saving. The most important of these relates to demographic factors. Government policies and cultural and institutional factors seem to have played a relatively less important role. In the coming years, rapid ageing of the population is likely to have an important effect on the rate of saving. The Japanese saving rate is expected to show a substantial decline beyond the year 2000 according to life-cycle model simulations. The implications of this for domestic investment and international saving/investment balances may be important ...


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