Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 10 No. 4 (Fall 1996)


Quick Tools:

Print Article Summary
Export Citation
Sign up for Email Alerts Follow us on Twitter


JEP - All Issues

How Retirement Saving Programs Increase Saving

Article Citation

Poterba, James M., Steven F. Venti, and David A. Wise. 1996. "How Retirement Saving Programs Increase Saving." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 10(4): 91-112.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.10.4.91


This paper summarizes the authors work on the effect of IRA and 401(k) contributions on net personal saving. They consider many different nonparametric approaches to controlling for heterogeneity in individual saving behavior and conclude that the weight of the available evidence suggests that contributions to both IRAs and 401(k)s largely represent new saving. The authors devote particular attention to reconciling their results with the findings in other studies that reach different conclusions, sometimes using the same databases that the authors analyze. Methodological limitations that undermine the reliability of results in other studies explain many of these disparities.

Article Full-Text Access

Full-text Article (Complimentary)


Poterba, James M. (MIT and NBER)
Venti, Steven F. (Dartmouth College and NBER)
Wise, David A. (John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard U and NBER)

JEL Classifications

H31: Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents: Household
J26: Retirement; Retirement Policies
D12: Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis


View Comments on This Article (0) | Login to post a comment

Journal of Economic Perspectives

Quick Tools:

Sign up for Email Alerts

Follow us on Twitter

Subscription Information
(Institutional Administrator Access)


JEP - All Issues

Virtual Field Journals

AEA Member Login:

AEAweb | AEA Journals | Contact Us