Sheldon Garon

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Sheldon Garon
Occupation Academic
Known for historian on household saving

Sheldon Garon is a Princeton University professor who has been described as "the world's leading historian on household saving." [1] He is a member of both the Princeton history department[2] and East Asian studies department. His field of interest centers on modern Japan, and particularly the relationship between state and society.

Born and brought up in Minnesota, he graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1973 and received a master's degree in East Asian studies from Harvard in 1975, followed by a doctorate in history from Yale in 1981. His first book, The State and Labor in Modern Japan, traced the history of the Japanese labor movement. In 1997, he published Molding Japanese Minds: The State in Everyday Life, an account of the Japanese state’s success at mobilizing its people to act in the perceived interest of the nation in.

In Beyond Our Means: Why America Spends and the World Saves (2011), he argues that the current savings imbalances between the United States and other developed nations are not the result merely of different individual choices. Beyond Our Means tells for the first time how other nations aggressively encouraged their citizens[3] to save by means of special savings institutions and savings campaigns. The U.S. government, meanwhile, promoted mass consumption and reliance on credit through policies such as tax breaks on borrowing,[4] which culminated in the global credit crunch.


  • The State and Labor in Modern Japan (1987) University of California Press, Berkeley. ISBN 9780520059832
  • Molding Japanese Minds: The State in Everyday Life (1997) Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-04488-0
  • Beyond Our Means: Why America Spends and the World Saves (2011) Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-13599-1