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Precautionary Wealth Accumulation: A Positive Third Derivative is not Enough

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It is commonly conjectured that expected wealth accumulation increases when earnings risk increases as long as the utility function in each period is increasing, concave and has a positive third derivative. We present a counter example which highlights the importance of the convexity of the savings function.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Georgetown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number gueconwpa~03-03-11.

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Date of creation: 11 Mar 2003
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Handle: RePEc:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~03-03-11

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Postal: Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
Phone: 202-687-6074
Fax: 202-687-6102
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Web page: http://econ.georgetown.edu/

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Postal: Marcia Suss Administrative Officer Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
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Web: http://econ.georgetown.edu/

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  1. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1995. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-02, McMaster University.
  3. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
  4. Christopher D. Carroll & Miles S. Kimball, 1995. "On the concavity of the consumption function," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Weil, Philippe, 1993. "Precautionary Savings and the Permanent Income Hypothesis," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 367-83, April.
  6. Sibley, David S., 1975. "Permanent and transitory income effects in a model of optimal consumption with wage income uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 68-82, August.
  7. Mark Huggett, 2004. "Precautionary Wealth Accumulation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 769-781.
  8. Haim Mendelson & Yakov Amihud, 1982. "Optimal Consumption Policy under Uncertain Income," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(6), pages 683-697, June.
  9. Caballero, Ricardo J, 1991. "Earnings Uncertainty and Aggregate Wealth Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 859-71, September.
  10. Miller, Bruce L., 1976. "The effect on optimal consumption of increased uncertainty in labor income in the multiperiod case," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 154-167, August.
  11. Sandmo, Agnar, 1970. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Saving Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 353-60, July.
  12. Schechtman, Jack, 1976. "An income fluctuation problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 218-241, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Mark Huggett, 2004. "Precautionary Wealth Accumulation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71, pages 769-781, 07.
  2. Richard M. H. Suen, 2011. "Concave Consumption Function and Precautionary Wealth Accumulation," Working papers 2011-23, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  3. Ghiglino, Christian, 2005. "Wealth inequality and dynamic stability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 124(1), pages 106-115, September.
  4. Feigenbaum, James, 2011. "Precautionary saving or denied dissaving," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 1559-1572, July.

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