BPEA | 1996 No. 1

Understanding the Postwar Decline in U.S. Saving: A Cohort Analysis

Jagadeesh Gokhale,
Jagadeesh Gokhale Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
John Sabelhaus, and Laurence J. Kotlikoff Barry P. Bosworth and
Barry P. Bosworth Nonresident Senior Fellow - Economic Studies

Robert Haveman

1996, No. 1

This paper develops a unique cohort data set to study the decline in
U.S. saving. It focuses on four periods for which Consumer Expenditure
Surveys (CEX) are available: 1960-61, 1972-73, 1984-86, and
1987-90. These and a host of other microeconomic surveys are combined
with National Income and Product Account (NIPA) data and other
aggregates to form measures of cohort-specific consumption and resources.
The benchmarking of our cohort data set to NIPA aggregates
ensures that our findings relate directly to the decline in net national
saving measured by these aggregates.