What is National Saving?: Alternative Measures in Historical and International Context
David F. Bradford
Most discussion of national saving behavior is based on national income
account data. This paper lays out some of the main alternative conceptions of
saving and to present data comparing recent U.S. saving behavior with its own
past and with that of other nations. I argue, in particular, that more
attention should be paid to measures of national wealth at asset market values.
The main empirical contribution is to pull together data from the national
balance sheets on wealth at market value compiled for the United States by the
Flow of Funds Division of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
(1989) and by various agencies sources in three other countries for which
market value figures could be found: Japan, and Sweden, and the United
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