No. 23 Gender Effects on Aggregate Saving
by Maria Sagrario Floro and Stephanie Seguino

This study investigates the hypothesis that shifts in womenís relative income, which affects their bargaining power in the household, have discernible effects on household saving, and by extension on aggregate saving due to differing saving propensities by gender. An analytical framework for pooled and non-pooled savings households is developed to examine why women and menís saving propensities may differ and how a change in womenís wage earnings relative to menís influences household savings which constitutes a significant component of gross domestic saving. An empirical analysis is conducted using panel data for a set of 20 semi-industrialized economies, covering the period 1975-95. The results indicate that as some measures of womenís discretionary income and bargaining power increase, aggregate saving rates rise, implying a significant effect of gender on aggregate savings. These findings demonstrate the importance of understanding gender relations at the household level in planning for savings mobilization and in the formulation of financial and investment policies.

 

This paper is part of a series of papers on selected topics commissioned for the forthcoming Policy Research Report(PRR) on Gender and Development. The PRR is being carried out by Elizabeth King and Andrew Mason and co-sponsored by the World Bank’s Development Economics Research Group and the Gender and Development Group of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network. Printed copies of this paper are available free from the World Bank, 1818 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20433. Please contact Owen Haaga, in room MC8-434 or at Gnetwork@worldbank.org. Comments are welcome and should be sent directly to the author(s) at mfloro@american.edu.



The full-length paper is available in PDF format.