The World's Only Negative Personal Savings Rate

The most distinguishing feature of a graph of TIMSS scores vs. savings rates around the world is the fact that the nations for which data is available all have both higher TIMSS scores and higher rates of savings than the US and England. The European nations, Australia, and New Zealand have TIMSS scores roughly 40 points higher and rates of savings roughly 6% higher. Switzerland is at the high end of the European nations, Savings vs TIMSS Scoreswith a TIMSS score 45 points higher and a rate of savings 12% higher. Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong are further up the scale, with TIMSS scores 100 points higher and rates of savings 19% higher. At the top of the scale is Singapore, with a TIMSS score 143 points higher and a rate of savings 36% higher.The linearity of this relationship suggests that savings rates are strongly influenced by math skills, or that higher savings rates provide the opportunity to educate children more effectively, or a combination of both. Regardless of which is the predominant relationship, it is strong evidence that an aggressive program to increase math education quality in the US today has immense long term benefits tomorrow. A 1% increase in the rate of savings as a percent of GDP in the US would put $70 billion more per year into savings. An increase in the rate of savings to a level equivalent to Singapore would put $2,520 billion more per year into savings.Discussions about savings rates with American students confirm this relationship. They also confirm that the low TIMSS scores do accurately reflect their significantly impaired math skills today. Their propensity to save could not be increased very much without completely restoring their competency in math. That cannot be done until teachers are tested for math competency before they are hired. That requires paying math teachers significantly more than current pay scales. That requires repealing the "Equal Pay Act"."Arete" is the Greek word for what needs to be done about math education--we must strive to put quality back into education. That requires hiring the very best math educators possible.

The correlation of savings to scores (r-squared = 0.7868) is higher than the correlation of boys' 12th grade scores to boys' 8th grade scores (r-squared = 0.6932), and even higher than the correlation of girls' 8th grade to 12th grade scores (r-squared = 0.5186). wpe1.gif (4984 bytes)

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B=Savings as % of GDP
C=12th Grade TIMSS Score
D=Feminism Taught in Schools

A		B	C	D
Singapore	51%	643	no
Malaysia	41%		no
China		40%	647	no
South Korea	37%	607	no
Indonesia	37%		no
Thailand	36%		no
Bhutan		36%		no
Hong Kong	35%	588	no
Brunei		35%		no
Russia		32%	548	no
Japan		31%	605	no
Saudi Arabia	30%		no
Macau		28%		no
P. N. Guinea	28%		no
India		28%		no
Switzerland	27%	547	no
New Zealand	26%	508	no
Taiwan		25%		no
Germany		23%	487	no
Italy		22%	480	no
France		21%	544	no
Canada		21%	499	Yes
Brazil		21%		Yes
Kenya		21%		Yes
Nigeria		20%		Yes
Turkey		20%		Yes
Mexico		19%		Yes
Vietnam		16%		Yes
Philippines	16%		Yes
Sri Lanka	16%		Yes
Britain		15%	506	Yes
U.S.		15%	424	Yes
Mongolia	14%		Yes
Fiji		13%		Yes
Pakistan	12%		Yes
Maldives	11%		Yes
Nepal		11%		Yes
Myanmar		11%		Yes
Afghanistan	10%		Yes
Bangladesh	8%		Yes
Egypt		7%		Yes
Cambodia	6%		Yes
Laos		4%		Yes