Frugality: Are We Fretting Too Much? Household Saving And Assets In The United States

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Executive Summary

Household savings rates in the United States have recently crept up from all-time lows. Some have suggested that a shift toward frugality will hamper GDP growth - the Keynesian "Paradox of thrift." The author estimates that households compensate for a fall in their asset income by saving more out of their labor income, dollar-for-dollar. In the wake of the crisis, the model predicts that such primary savings will increase, but only temporarily and modestly, as household assets stabilize. As savings flows gradually accumulate, they help rebuild corporate net worth and hence firms' capacity to make capital investments.

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