The effect of financial liberalization on private saving is theoretically ambiguous, not only because the link between interest rate levels and saving is itself ambiguous, but also because financial liberalization is a multidimensional and phased process, sometimes involving reversals. Using principal components, we construct 25-year time-series indices of financial liberalization for each of eight developing countries: Chile, Ghana, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Turkey, and Zimbabwe. These are employed in an econometric analysis of private saving in these countries. Our results cannot offer support for the hypothesis that financial liberalization will increase saving. On the contrary, the indications are that liberalization overall—and in particular those elements that relax liquidity constraints—may be associated with a fall in saving.

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