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Marginal Propensity to Save (MPS)


Marginal Propensity to Save (MPS) refers to the proportion of an additional dollar of income that an individual or a household chooses to save rather than spend on consumption. It represents the relationship between changes in income and corresponding changes in savings. A higher MPS indicates that as income increases, people are more inclined to save, while a lower MPS suggests a greater inclination to spend.


The phonetics of “Marginal Propensity to Save (MPS)” can be expressed as follows:- Marginal: /mɑrˈdʒɪnəl/- Propensity: /prəˈpɛnsɪti/- to: /tuː/ or /tə/ (depending on context and speaker)- Save: /seɪv/- M.P.S: /ˈɛm pi ˈɛs/

Key Takeaways

  1. Marginal Propensity to Save (MPS) is a key economic indicator: The MPS measures the proportion of an increase in income that is saved rather than spent on goods and services. It is used to gauge how households respond to changes in income and can inform economic policy decisions by governments and central banks.
  2. MPS is an important factor in determining the effectiveness of fiscal policies: A higher MPS indicates that more of an increase in income is saved, while a lower MPS implies that more of the income is spent on consumption. An understanding of MPS can help policymakers predict the impact of their fiscal policy actions, such as tax cuts or spending increases, on overall consumer spending, saving, and economic growth.
  3. MPS varies among different individuals and groups: Factors such as income level, age, and cultural background can all influence a person’s or group’s MPS. Typically, higher-income earners have a higher tendency to save than lower-income earners. Developing policies that consider differences in MPS and their implications can help create more effective strategies for managing economic growth and stability.


The Marginal Propensity to Save (MPS) is an important concept in business and finance as it reflects the proportion of an additional dollar of income that an individual, household, or an economy will save rather than spend on consumption. Understanding MPS is crucial for policymakers and economists to accurately analyze and forecast the economic effects of changes in fiscal and monetary policies, as well as identifying shifts in individual or collective behavior. A higher MPS indicates a society that is more inclined to save and invest, contributing to the pool of financial resources available for businesses and economic growth. Alternatively, a lower MPS reflects greater consumer spending, which can stimulate short-term economic activity but may not ensure long-term financial stability. In essence, the Marginal Propensity to Save plays a vital role in the balanced development and stability of an economy.


The Marginal Propensity to Save (MPS) serves as a valuable tool for economists and policymakers to understand and predict the behavior of consumers in an economy. By measuring the proportion of each additional dollar earned that a consumer saves, MPS assists in identifying trends in savings across different income groups, as well as examining the impact of income fluctuations on the overall savings rate. Insights gained from MPS can help economists make better fiscal and monetary policy recommendations, such as adjusting interest rates or implementing tax policies that encourage or discourage consumer savings. Consequently, understanding the inclination of individuals to save plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy economic balance between consumption and savings. Furthermore, the concept of Marginal Propensity to Save is also essential in determining other key economic measures, such as the Marginal Propensity to Consume (MPC) and the Multiplier Effect. By calculating both MPS and MPC, economists can evaluate the interplay between savings and consumption and the potential impact it has on economic growth. For instance, low MPS indicates a higher propensity to consume, which means that consumers are likely to spend a larger share of their income, resulting in increased demand for goods, services, and subsequent investment. On the other hand, a high MPS may imply a reluctance to consume which can stifle economic growth and lead to decreased investment. In summary, the Marginal Propensity to Save is a valuable tool in assessing consumer behavior and planning appropriate fiscal and monetary policies aimed at fostering a stable and thriving economic environment.


Example 1: Economic Stimulus PackageDuring the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, the U.S. government implemented an economic stimulus package to provide relief to citizens and boost consumer spending. By doing so, the government hoped to kickstart the economy by increasing consumption. However, some individuals chose to save a portion of the stimulus money instead of spending it. This savings behavior reflected their marginal propensity to save (MPS), which indicated the fraction of additional income that these households allocated to saving. Example 2: Salary Increase and Saving BehaviorConsider John, who received a salary increase of $10,000. Instead of spending all of the additional income, John decides to save $3,000 and spend the remaining $7,000. In this case, his marginal propensity to save (MPS) is 0.3 (3,000/10,000), which means he saves 30% of his extra income and spends the remaining 70%. Example 3: National Saving Rates and Cultural DifferencesDifferent countries exhibit varying marginal propensity to save (MPS) levels due to cultural differences and differences in social safety nets. For instance, in 2020, the average MPS in China was around 36.1%, while the average MPS in the United States stood at about 7.6%. The higher MPS in China indicates that, on average, Chinese households save a larger proportion of their additional income compared to U.S. households. Several factors contribute to this difference, including differences in cultural views on saving, the absence of a comprehensive social safety net for retirement in China, and a higher importance placed on precautionary saving.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Marginal Propensity to Save (MPS)?
Marginal Propensity to Save (MPS) is an economic term that measures the proportion of each additional dollar of income that is saved rather than spent. In other words, MPS shows how much of a person’s income increase goes into savings.
How is Marginal Propensity to Save calculated?
The Marginal Propensity to Save is calculated by dividing the change in savings by the change in income. The formula is as follows: MPS = ΔSavings / ΔIncome
How is MPS related to Marginal Propensity to Consume (MPC)?
Marginal Propensity to Consume (MPC) is the proportion of each additional dollar of income that is spent rather than saved. MPS and MPC are related because they both reflect how households allocate their additional income between savings and consumption. The sum of MPS and MPC always equals one (MPS + MPC = 1).
Why is Marginal Propensity to Save important?
MPS is an important concept in macroeconomics because it helps policymakers and economists understand how changes in income influence savings rates, which in turn can impact overall economic growth, aggregate demand, and the effectiveness of fiscal policies.
How does MPS affect the economy?
A higher MPS implies that a larger portion of additional income is saved, leading to lower consumption and potentially slower economic growth. Conversely, a lower MPS means more of the additional income is spent, increasing consumption and potentially stimulating economic growth. Understanding MPS can be useful in creating effective fiscal and monetary policies to achieve economic goals.
Can Marginal Propensity to Save change over time?
Yes, MPS can change over time as a result of various factors, including changes in economic conditions, individual preferences, and government policies. For example, during an economic downturn, people might be more inclined to save additional income due to uncertainty, leading to an increase in MPS.

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