Does Cultural Origin Affect Saving Behavior? Evidence from Immigrants
Christopher D. Carroll, Byung-Kun Rhee, Changyong Rhee
NBER Working Paper No. 6568
Because efforts to explain international saving differentials using traditional economic variables have not been very successful (Bosworth, 1993), some economists have proposed that national saving differences reflect cultural differences. We attempt to test that hypothesis by using data from the US Census to examine whether immigrants to the US from high-saving countries tend to save more than immigrants from low-saving countries. While we do find highly statistically significant differences in immigrants' saving behavior by country of origin, those differences do not match up with the differences in national saving rates. In particular, immigrants from high-saving Asian countries do not save more than other immigrants.
Published: Economic Development and Cultural Change, Vol. 48, no. 1 (1999): 33-50.