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Why We Should All Save More: The Economics of the Saving Ethic

Anno XXVII, n. 117, aprile-giugno 1992
Centro Einaudi


Abstract disponibile solo in lingua inglese

This is the second of three lectures which may be summarised under the title Ethics and Economic Process. The first lecture was concerned with the work ethic. In this one the analysis that we should all work harder applies, with some variations, to saving and capital formation. The author reviews the origin of widespread dissatisfaction with the current saving rate in the United States. He examines the view that current saving rates are too low, albeit only because of various governmental policies, and analyses the effects of the Keynesian delusion. After making a categorical distinction between his own pro-saving argument and those founded on considerations of inter-generational ethics, the author proceedes to clarify his thesis. He defines saving and indicates what presupposition of the analytical models are required to equate an increase in saving with an increase in the size of the market nexus. After a brief comparison of the effects of increases in saving and in work effort, he examines the internationalisation of the externality involved in saving choices through ethical constraints.