How Important Is Precautionary Saving?
AbstractWe estimate how much of the wealth of a sample of respondents to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics is held because some households face more income uncertainty than others. We begin by solving a theoretical model of saving, which we use to develop appropriate measures of uncertainty. We then regress households' wealth on our measures of uncertainty, and find substantial evidence that households engage in precautionary saving. Finally, we simulate the wealth distribution that our empirical results imply would prevail if all households had the same uncertainty as the lowest uncertainty group. We find that between 32 and 50% of wealth in our sample is attributable to the extra uncertainty that some consumers face compared to the lowest uncertainty group. © 1998 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.
Volume (Year): 80 (1998)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/
Other versions of this item:
- Christopher D. Carroll & Andrew A. Samwick, 1995. "How Important is Precautionary Saving?," NBER Working Papers 5194, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Christopher D. Carroll & Andrew A. Samwick, 1993. "How important is precautionary saving?," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 145, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- D91 - Microeconomics - - Intertemporal Choice - - - Intertemporal Household Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
- E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
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