The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Individual Retirement Accounts

  • Jonathan Skinner
Reference work entry


Individual Retirement Accounts in the United States are tax-preferred saving vehicles designed to encourage saving for retirement. Many countries have adopted similar saving mechanisms such as Individual Saving Accounts in Britain, Special Saving Incentive Accounts in Ireland, and Tax-Preferred Deposit Accounts in Belgium. Enrolment rates are substantially higher among high income taxpayers, while the saving effects are often found to be quite modest. However, given the often low revenue cost of these tax preferred accounts, they may be reasonably cost-effective in terms of new saving per lost unit of revenue.


Capital gains Individual Retirement Accounts National saving Precautionary saving Retirement Pensions 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Skinner
    • 1
  1. 1.