Perché i modelli di risparmio sono così diversi?

PECHINO – Da quando, all’inizio degli Anni Novanta, è cominciata l’integrazione dei mercati emergenti nell’economia globale si sono delineate tre tendenze piuttosto singolari: una divergenza nell’andamento dei risparmi privati tra il centro industrializzato e la periferia emergente, che nel primo caso hanno registrato una netta impennata, nel secondo un declino costante; profondi squilibri globali tra le due aree; e un calo dei tassi di interesse in tutto il mondo. Se da un lato, però, gli squilibri internazionali hanno suscitato la preoccupazione di un folto gruppo di osservatori, dall’altro debole è stato il tentativo di spiegare le differenze di comportamento del risparmio mondiale.

Nel 1988, il tasso di risparmio delle famiglie era orientativamente pari al 5% sia in Cina che negli Stati Uniti. Nel 2007, però, quello cinese ha raggiunto uno strabiliante 30%, mentre quello statunitense è rimasto al 2,5%. Negli ultimi due decenni non è stato infrequente riscontrare altrove tale schema nel rapporto tra paesi industrializzati e mercati emergenti (Figura 1).

Il comportamento del risparmio reagisce regolarmente alle variazioni dei tassi d'interesse, che nell'ultimo ventennio sono scesi a un ritmo costante fino ai livelli record di oggi. Ma come è possibile che i modelli di risparmio siano così diversi, anzi spesso opposti, in economie globalizzate ben integrate nei mercati finanziari mondiali?

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