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Estimating the Effects of Earnings Uncertainty on Families's Saving and Insurance Decisions

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  • Palumbo, M.G.
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    Abstract

    This paper investigates whether families save partially to self-insure against uncertain future earnings and estimates the extent to which pooled insurance substitutes for saving as a precaution against earnings risk. An econometric model is estimated using unique household survey data from the nineteenth century to examine families' joint saving and insurance decisions. The historical micro-data is of interest because it predates widespread social insurance programs, which may stunt self-insurance through private saving among contemporary families. The econometric results imply that two independent measures of idiosyncratic earnings risk matter for families' saving decisions. Additionally, families whose primary wage earners belong to labor unions significantly save less frequently than others, all else being equal, but this tendency is not apparent among members of private benevolent societies.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Houston - Department of Economics in its series Papers with number 98-07.

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    Length: 25 pages
    Date of creation: 1998
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:fth:housto:98-07

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON, DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS, COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, HOUSTON TEXAS 77023 U.S.A.
    Web page: http://www.class.uh.edu/econ/
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    Related research

    Keywords: CONSUMPTION ; SAVINGS ; INCOME;

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    Cited by:
    1. James, J.A. & Palumbo, M.G. & Thomas, M., 1998. "Consumption Smoothing Among Working-Class American Families Before Social Insurance," Papers 98-05, Houston - Department of Economics.

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