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Income Uncertainty and IRAs

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  • Warren Hrung

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Abstract

In a precautionary savings setting, since Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are poor substitutes for precautionary savings due to early withdrawal penalties, those facing more income uncertainty are expected to prefer more liquid assets. This paper investigates the role of income uncertainty in IRA participation. Confidential tax panel data is used to construct a measure of income uncertainty. Greater income uncertainty is found to have a negative influence on IRA participation for those in the immediate pre-retirement stage of the life-cycle. The results appear to be consistent with buffer-stock models of savings where income uncertainty is predicted to have a large effect on wealth accumulation beginning around age 50. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1020921721147
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 9 (2002)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
Pages: 591-599

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:9:y:2002:i:5:p:591-599

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102915

Related research

Keywords: Individual Retirement Accounts; Precautionary Savings;

References

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  1. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1992. "Earnings Uncertainty and Precautionary Saving," CEPR Discussion Papers 699, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Long, James E., 1990. "Marginal Tax Rates and IRA Contributions," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 43(2), pages 143-53, June.
  3. Modigliani, Franco, 1986. "Life Cycle, Individual Thrift, and the Wealth of Nations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 297-313, June.
  4. Mark Kazarosian, 1993. "Precautionary Savings- A Panel Study," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 247, Boston College Department of Economics.
  5. Christopher D. Carroll & Andrew A. Samwick, 1998. "How Important Is Precautionary Saving?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 410-419, August.
  6. Daniel Feenberg & Jonathan Skinner, 1989. "Sources of IRA Saving," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 3, pages 25-46 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1996. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Discussion Papers 96-01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  8. Deaton, Angus, 1991. "Saving and Liquidity Constraints," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1221-48, September.
  9. R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan S. Skinner, 2009. "Assessing the Effectiveness of Saving Incentives," Books, American Enterprise Institute, number 24067, July.
  10. Gale, W.G. & scholz, J.K., 1992. "IRAS and Household Saving," Papers 9244, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  11. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti, 2001. "Preretirement Cashouts and Foregone Retirement Saving: Implications for 401(k) Asset Accumulation," NBER Chapters, in: Themes in the Economics of Aging, pages 23-58 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Christopher D. Carroll & Andrew A. Samwick, 1995. "The Nature of Precautionary Wealth," NBER Working Papers 5193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
  14. R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 1994. "The Importance of Precautionary Motives in Explaining Individual and Aggregate Saving," NBER Working Papers 4516, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Jane G. Gravelle, 1991. "Do Individual Retirement Accounts Increase Savings?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 133-148, Spring.
  16. Imrohoroglu, Ayse & Imrohoroglu, Selahattin & Joines, Douglas H, 1998. "The Effect of Tax-Favored Retirement Accounts on Capital Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 749-68, September.
  17. Christopher D. Carroll, 1992. "The Buffer-Stock Theory of Saving: Some Macroeconomic Evidence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 61-156.
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Cited by:
  1. Hans Fehr & Christian Habermann, 2010. "Private retirement savings and mandatory annuitization," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 17(6), pages 640-661, December.
  2. Hans Fehr & Christian Habermann, 2008. "Private Retirement Savings in Germany: The Structure of Tax Incentives and Annuitization," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 133, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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