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The Arithmetic of Savings

Project Leader: Professor Nicola Viegi

Project Coordinator: Rachel Browne

The Arithmetic of Savings research project addresses the conditions that allow a nation to look ahead to the future, and the instruments that help it do so. The subject of savings thus forms part of the process of nation formation and social cohesion because its key function - internally funded economic growth – is what contributes to the development of a more equal and prosperous society. South Africa’s present culture of non-saving must be seen as a critical obstacle to the country’s development, and the reasons underpinning this impediment to growth need to be scrutinised.  In line with MISTRA’s objectives of spearheading new thinking, the Savings project thus seeks to contribute towards a better understanding of economic, social and institutional factors that contribute to the low saving rate South Africa is experiencing.  

The project is linking three aspects: the individual’s interaction with financial and social institutions: the credit market and the welfare state, and the linkages between South Africa’s internal financial market and the global market; how globally activity impacts on the South African economic landscape and how these linkages can constrain the ability of the country to make certain decisions. Altogether, these aspects help build a story around the future orientation of our nation and how this orientation is being shaped.


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