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The Spirit of Capitalism, Precautionary Savings, and Consumption

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  • YULEI LUO
  • WILLIAM T. SMITH
  • HENG-FU ZOU

Abstract

Recent research has shown that the "spirit of capitalism"-a preference for wealth itself, in addition to consumption-has important implications for growth and asset pricing. This paper explores how the spirit of capitalism affects saving and consumption behavior. We demonstrate that the spirit of capitalism may reduce the importance of precautionary savings. It can also explain the excess sensitivity puzzle: the spirit of capitalism causes dramatic deviations from a random walk. It may also offer a partial explanation of the excess smoothness puzzle. Copyright (c) 2009 The Ohio State University.

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Article provided by Blackwell Publishing in its journal Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Volume (Year): 41 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (03)
Pages: 543-554

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Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:41:y:2009:i:2-3:p:543-554

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Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2879

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  1. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 1999. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 7271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Heng-fu Zou, 1995. "The spirit of capitalism and savings behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 131-143, September.
  3. Campbell, John Y & Deaton, Angus, 1989. "Why Is Consumption So Smooth?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 357-73, July.
  4. Wang, Neng, 2006. "Generalizing the permanent-income hypothesis: Revisiting Friedman's conjecture on consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 737-752, May.
  5. John Y. Campbell, 1992. "Inspecting the Mechanism: An Analytical Approach to the Stochastic Growth Model," NBER Working Papers 4188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Eric R. Young, 2004. "The Wealth Distribution and the Demand for Status," Macroeconomics 0410008, EconWPA.
  7. Zou, Heng-fu, 1994. "'The spirit of capitalism' and long-run growth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 279-293, July.
  8. Liutang Gong & Heng-fu Zou, 2001. "Money, social status, and capital accumulation in a cash-in-advance model," CEMA Working Papers 55, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  9. Gong, Liutang & Zou, Heng-fu, 2002. "Direct preferences for wealth, the risk premium puzzle, growth, and policy effectiveness," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 247-270, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Yulei Luo & William T. Smith & Heng-fu Zou, 2009. "The Spirit of Capitalism and Excess Smoothness," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 10(2), pages 281-301, November.
  2. Shu-Hua Chen, 2012. "On the Growth and Stability Effects of Habit Formation and Durability in Consumption," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 13(2), pages 283-298, November.
  3. Shiyuan Pan & Mengbo Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 2011. "Status Preference and the Effects of Patent Protection: Theory and Evidence," CEMA Working Papers 588, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  4. Shiyuan Pan & Mengbo Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 2013. "The Effects of Patent Protection: A Growth Model with Status Preference," CEMA Working Papers 574, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.

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