The Cultural Origin of Saving Behavior

26 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2020

See all articles by Joan Costa-Font

Joan Costa-Font

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Paola Giuliano

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Berkay Özcan

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

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Date Written: February 2020

Abstract

Traditional economic interpretations have not been successful in explaining differences in saving rates across countries. One hypothesis is that savings respond to cultural specific social norms. A seminal paper in economics (1) however did not find any effect of culture on savings. We revisit this evidence using a novel dataset, which allows us to study the saving behavior of up to three generations of immigrants in the United Kingdom. Against the backdrop of existing evidence, we find that cultural preferences are an important explanation for cross-country differences in saving behavior, and their relevance persists up to three generations.

Keywords: Culture, Saving

JEL Classification: D0, Z1

Suggested Citation

Costa-Font, Joan and Giuliano, Paola and Özcan, Berkay, The Cultural Origin of Saving Behavior (February 2020). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP14413. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3547346

Joan Costa-Font (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://https://joancostaifont.org/

Paola Giuliano

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management ( email )

110 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Berkay Özcan

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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