"How do social security programs and private financial institutions, such as the rules governing mortgage borrowing, affect household saving? This volume meticulously analyzes panel data from six nations to offer new insights on both of these long-standing questions. The results are essential reading for anyone interested in saving, social insurance policy, or capital formation." James Poterba, Mitsui Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology "This valuable set of studies takes an enormous step towards resolving the puzzling differences in saving rates between countries by focusing on the complex interaction between public policies and individual motives to save. The volume is critical to readers seeking to understand the effects of social policies on national saving and to those trying to deal with public pension "crises" in developed countries." Steven F. Venti, Department of Economics, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire The key to understanding household saving is obtaining appropriate data. Dealing with differences between rich and poor households, for example, or the old and the young, require observation of a large number of households. The focus of this study is to obtain data on many households from a number of different countries and to examine them in a coherent fashion. The hope is that through these observations we can learn about the ways policies affect savings and that other differences among savers can be controlled for, instead of being blamed on "cultural differences Data are available in tabular form by age category at www.mea.uni-mannheim.de/iscp.Börsch-Supan, Axel is the author of 'Life-Cycle Savings and Public Policy A Cross-National Study of Six Countries' with ISBN 9780121098919 and ISBN 0121098915.