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Policies and Institutions that Promote Saving

Authors:Norman V. Loayza  and Luis Serven
Non-Bank Author:Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, Mita Chakraborty, J. Humberto Lopez
Duration:1990 - 1990
Topics:Economic Policy and Macroeconomic & Economic Growth
Report Number:WPS2309

What Drives Private Saving around the World? Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, Luis Servén, and Norman Loayza, World Bank Policy Working Paper no. 2309

This research examines the key determinants of saving. It looks at the relationship between saving and growth, and analyzes how saving is affected by macroeconomic policies, financial sector liberalization, pension reform, and foreign aid. It includes country case studies. The project includes the development of an improved cross-country database on public and private saving. The work is coordinated with operational support so that it will contribute to economic reports on China, India, Mexico and other countries.

Data: Please note that these are zipped (compressed) files, and you will need to unzip/uncompress them.    |   |   |   |

Organization: The saving database consists of the following modules:

  1. Module 1: National saving and other national accounts aggregates
  2. Module 2: Saving of the private and public sectors (with the latter defined as the central government only)
        Module 2a: Unadjusted saving
        Module 2b: Adjusted saving (corrected for inflation and exchange depreciation)
  3. Module 3: Saving of the private and public sectors (with the latter defined as the general government or the non-financial public sector).
        Module 3a: Unadjusted saving
        Module 3b: Adjusted saving (corrected for inflation and exchange depreciation)
  4. Module 4: Selected saving determinants
  5. Module 5: Personal and firm saving and investment

The database includes 150 countries and spans the years 1960 to 1995. However, not all variables are available for every country every year. Hence the effective time coverage of the data files varies substantially across modules and, within a given module, across countries and variables.

Except where otherwise noted, annual observations typically refer to the National Accounts year. In most, but not all, cases this corresponds to the Western calendar year. When necessary for timing consistency, information presented in the original sources on a different basis has been transformed to National Accounts-year basis. Details are provided in the documentation of the corresponding module(s). The attached file YEARS.DOC lists the countries reporting some, or all, of their economic information on a basis other than the calendar year.

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the data through various consistency checks, the process of data analysis is still ongoing, and hence some data errors present in the original sources may remain at this stage. They will be corrected in future revisions of the database modules. This applies in particular to the most recent years (especially 1994-95), for which the figures are in many cases provisional and subject to major revision.

File format
Each data module consists of a number of Excel 5.0 files, each of which contains data on one specific variable. Files typically include two worksheets: one with the actual data, and another providing some summary statistics on cross-country and time-series coverage. When opening the worksheets, you may get a prompt offering to re-establish links. You can safely reply “no”.

In the data sheets, shaded areas represent years prior to independence of each country. In most (but not all) cases, information covering those years is not available, for obvious reasons.

To save space, the files are distributed in compressed form. To uncompress them, an unzipping utility is necessary. A summary documentation of the module’s major data sources and relevant features is also included. A much more extensive and detailed documentation is available upon request.

Final Note
Unless severe unexpected problems are found, no further revisions of the databse will be distributed over the coming months. However, we will appreciate it very much if any detected errors and inconsistencies are reported to us.

For questions and problems relating to the data, please contact:
Mita Chakraborty: or Humberto López:

Access to Dataset
  • mod2rev3 (ZIP 622kb)

  • mod5rev3 (ZIP 108kb)

  • mod4rev4 (ZIP 1059kb)

  • mod3rev3 (ZIP 566kb)

  • mod1rev3 (ZIP 1998kb)

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