Do ageing economies save less? Evidence from OECD data

Benjamin Wong, Kam Ki Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to re-examine the effect of population ageing on private saving, taking into account the fact that ageing is brought about by not only rising old-aged dependency but also expanding longevity. Design/methodology/approach: The study uses panel data of 22 OECD countries from 1961 to 2010. Linear and non-linear panel regression methods are used. The study takes into account the time series characteristic of the data, such as the deterministic trend present in old-age dependency ratio. Findings: Longevity consistently has a significant positive impact on savings, while old-aged dependency rate has no discernible impact once country-specific time trends in the data are accounted for. The general finding within the literature where old-age dependency exerts a negative impact on savings is sensitive to the manner in which the data is handled and/or the sample selected. Originality/value: First, the authors jointly consider rising old-aged dependency and expanding longevity on savings, thus avoiding potential omitted variable bias in previous studies. Second, they explore non-linearity in the savings-ageing relationship which was ignored previously. Third, they identify whether saving rate and demographic measures are sharing common stochastic trends or driven by individual deterministic trends to avoid spurious regression results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-605
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Social Economics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Ageing
  • Ageing (biology)
  • Elderly people
  • Longevity
  • Old-age dependency
  • Savings

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