Consumption and saving behaviour: modelling recent trends
AbstractThis paper illustrates recent trends in household consumption and personal savings in the UK and the US and discusses some theoretical models that can be used to interpret them. The trends in these two countries are interesting for several reasons. The decline in personal saving rates in the US during the 1980s is an unresolved puzzle. The corresponding variable in the UK has undergone large fluctuations, as have several other variables ranging from projected demographic trends to female labour supply. This paper stresses the need to analyse individual data to shed some light on these aggregate trends. It also stresses the need to have a sound structural model to interpret observed patterns in the data. The theoretical framework discussed throughout the paper is the life-cycle model, which views consumption and saving decisions as part of a dynamic optimisation process. The development of the model and the current research agenda and ways that it can be enriched with various degrees of sophistication are discussed. Particular attention is devoted to the discussion of the most recent developments.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its journal Fiscal Studies.
Volume (Year): 18 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
- E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
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