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Optimal irrational behavior in continuous time

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  • Feigenbaum, James
  • Caliendo, Frank N.

Abstract

Feigenbaum et al. (2009) showed in a two-period overlapping generations model that households can improve upon the rational, competitive equilibrium while maintaining competitive factor markets if agents coordinate upon an irrational consumption/saving rule. We generalize their findings to continuous time. The optimal consumption rule with coordination implies a U-shaped lifecycle consumption profile. Rational agents living in a standard competitive equilibrium would need a 4% increase of consumption in every period across the lifecycle to reach the level of utility that can be achieved under coordination. Most of this gain can be achieved with a linear saving rule.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Volume (Year): 34 (2010)
Issue (Month): 10 (October)
Pages: 1907-1922

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Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:34:y:2010:i:10:p:1907-1922

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc

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Keywords: Consumption Saving Coordination General equilibrium Rules of thumb Pecuniary externality Overlapping generations Optimal irrational behavior;

References

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  1. Gary Hansen & Selahattin Imrohoroglu, 2008. "Consumption over the Life Cycle: The Role of Annuities," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(3), pages 566-583, July.
  2. Feigenbaum, James, 2008. "Can mortality risk explain the consumption hump?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 844-872, September.
  3. repec:att:wimass:9722 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Bullard, James & Feigenbaum, James, 2007. "A leisurely reading of the life-cycle consumption data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2305-2320, November.
  5. James Feigenbaum & Frank N. Caliendo & Emin Gahramanov, 2009. "Optimal Irrational Behavior," Economics Series 2009_01, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
  6. Thurow, Lester C, 1969. "The Optimum Lifetime Distribution of Consumption Expenditures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(3), pages 324-30, June.
  7. James Feigenbaum, 2006. "Precautionary Saving Unfettered," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 29, Society for Computational Economics.
  8. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 1999. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 7271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Léonard,Daniel & Long,Ngo van, 1992. "Optimal Control Theory and Static Optimization in Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521337465, April.
  10. Richard H. Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save More Tomorrow (TM): Using Behavioral Economics to Increase Employee Saving," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages S164-S187, February.
  11. Heckman, James J, 1974. "Life Cycle Consumption and Labor Supply: An Explanation of the Relationship Between Income and Consumption Over the Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(1), pages 188-94, March.
  12. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2003. "Macroeconomic Priorities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 1-14, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. James Feigenbaum & Frank N. Caliendo & Emin Gahramanov, 2009. "Optimal Irrational Behavior," Working Papers 200901, Utah State University, Department of Economics and Finance.
  2. Feigenbaum, James & Gahramanov, Emin & Tang, Xueli, 2013. "Is it really good to annuitize?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 116-140.
  3. Emin Gahramanov & Xueli Tang, 2014. "Impatient in Experiments, but Patient in Simulations: A Challenge to a Neoclassical Model," Economics Series 2014_2, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.

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