Research Programs: Fellowships for University Teachers

Period of Performance

9/1/2005 - 6/30/2006

Funding Totals

$40,000.00 (approved)
$40,000.00 (awarded)

A Comparative History of the Promotion of Thrift in Japan, Europe, and the United States

FAIN: FA-51812-05

Sheldon Marc Garon
Princeton University (Princeton, NJ 08540-5228)

Why do Americans today consume so much and save so little, whereas Japanese-and many European and Asian nations-boast high savings rates while remaining wary of "excessive consumption"? This comparative history spotlights several nations' efforts to encourage popular saving and self-disciplined consumption from 1800 to the present. Beginning in Europe, governments and reformers strove to inculcate habits of modern saving by establishing savings banks, postal savings banks, savings campaigns, and school thrift programs. Though the Japanese are often viewed as uniquely thrifty, this book embeds the story of Japanese savings-promotion in an interconnected global history of thrift and consumption in Europe, the U.S., and East/Southeast Asia.