Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar
Cían Allen

Saving Across the Income Distribution: an International Perspective

Cían Allen, Economist in the IMF Research Department
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Seminar streamed via Zoom

The Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar is the Economics department's weekly seminar, featuring external speakers in all areas of economics.

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As part of the Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar series, the International Economics Department at the Graduate Institute is pleased to invite you to a public talk given by Cían Allen, Economist in the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He will present his work, joint with Christina Kolerus and Ying Xu, titled Saving Across the Income Distribution: an International Perspective.

Abstract: We combine consumption and income surveys with national accounts data to estimate saving across the income distribution in European economies and the United States since the 1990s. We document that, similarly to the United States, saving is highly unequally distributed in Europe. However, unlike in the US, there has been no broad-based increase in saving of the top of the distribution over the past two decades across Europe. This contrasts with the patterns identified in Mian, Straub, and Sufi (2021) for the US, coined the “saving glut of the rich”. The less dramatic increase in income inequality in Europe is an important factor in understanding these patterns. We find that while saving by the rich is higher in the US than in Europe, saving of middle income households is similar, while dissaving at the bottom of the distribution is larger in the US. Our results also shed new light on the relative size of the “foreign saving glut”, as well as the distribution of saving underlying the large adjustment of current account balances in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. These new facts can lead to a better empirical and theoretical understanding of saving and external imbalances.


About the speaker

Cían Allen is an economist in the Open Economy Division in the IMF’s Research Department. Previously, he worked in the African Department on the Regional Economic Outlook. His research focuses on issues related to international macroeconomics and finance, including the dynamics of external balances, wealth, and cross-border financial linkages. He obtained his PhD from Trinity College Dublin and joined the IMF in 2019.