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What Determines Earnings and Employment Risk

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  • Guiso, Luigi
  • Jappelli, Tullio
  • Pistaferri, Luigi

Abstract

Expectations and riskiness of future earnings are crucial determinants of individuals' intertemporal choices. Yet, the empirical literature lacks reliable measures of the distribution of future income. Lacking direct observability, the latter is usually estimated inferring the mean, the variance and other moments of the distribution from income realizations on panel data. In this paper we rely instead on subjective expectations available in the 1995 Survey of Household Income and Wealth, a large random sample representative of Italian households. The survey elicits information on the distribution of future earnings and the probability of employment in a very simple and parsimonious way. Based on the responses, we estimate the individual distributions of expected earnings conditional on working as well as unconditional. We can then relate various moments of these distributions to demographic and economic variables observable in the cross-section.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2043.

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Date of creation: Dec 1998
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2043

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Keywords: income risk; Subjective Expectations; Unemployment;

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References

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  1. Browning, Martin & Hansen, Lars Peter & Heckman, James J., 1999. "Micro data and general equilibrium models," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 543-633 Elsevier.
  2. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1992. "Earnings Uncertainty and Precautionary Saving," CEPR Discussion Papers 699, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1996. "Perceptions of Economic Insecurity: Evidence from the Survey of Economic Expectations," NBER Working Papers 5690, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Das, Marcel & Donkers, Bas, 1999. "How Certain Are Dutch Households about Future Income? An Empirical Analysis," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(3), pages 325-38, September.
  6. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1994. "Using Expectations Data to Study Subjective Income Expectations," NBER Working Papers 4937, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Flinn, Christopher J, 2002. "Labour Market Structure and Inequality: A Comparison of Italy and the U.S," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(3), pages 611-45, July.
  8. Robert B. Barsky & Miles S. Kimball & F. Thomas Juster & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 5213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Caballero, R.J., 1988. "Consumption Puzzles And Precautionary Savings," Discussion Papers 1988_05, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  10. Dynan, Karen E, 1993. "How Prudent Are Consumers?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 1104-13, December.
  11. MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
  12. Jeff Dominitz, 1998. "Earnings Expectations, Revisions, And Realizations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 374-388, August.
  13. Karen E. Dynan, 1993. "How prudent are consumers?," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 135, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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Cited by:
  1. Arie Kapteyn & Constantijn Panis, 2003. "The Size and Composition of Wealth Holdings in the United States, Italy, and the Netherlands," NBER Working Papers 10182, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio, 2000. "Household Portfolios in Italy," CEPR Discussion Papers 2549, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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