A Comparison of Saving Rates: Microdata Evidence from Seventeen Latin American and Caribbean Countries


Using microdata on expenditure and income for seventeen Latin American and Caribbean countries, this paper presents stylized facts on saving behavior by age, education, income, and place of residence. Counterfactual saving rates are computed by imposing the saving behavior, the population distribution, or the income distribution of two benchmark economies (the United States and Korea). The results suggest that the difference in national saving rates between Latin America and Caribbean and the benchmark economies can mainly be attributed to differences in saving behavior of the population and, to a lesser extent, to differences in the distribution of the population by education levels. Other demographic or income distribution differences are not quantitatively important as explanations of saving rates.