The Time Path of the Saving Rate: Hyperbolic Discounting and Short-Term Planning
AbstractThe standard neoclassical growth model with Cobb-Douglas production predicts a monotonically declining saving rate, when reasonably calibrated. Ample empirical evidence, however, shows that the transition paths of most countries saving rates exhibit a statistically significant hump-shaped pattern. Prior literature shows that CES production may imply a hump-shaped pattern of the saving rate (Gomz, 2008). However, the implied magnitude of the hump falls short of what is seen in empirical data. We introduce two non-standard features of preferences into a neoclassical growth model with CES production: hyperbolic discounting and short planning horizons. We show that, in contrast to the commonly accepted argument, in general (except for the special case of logarithmic utility) a model with hyperbolic discounting is not observationally equivalent to one with exponential discounting. We also show that our framework implies a hump-shaped saving rate dynamics that is consistent with empirical evidence. Hyperbolic discounting turns out to be a major factor explaining the magnitude of the hump of the saving rate path. Numerical simulations employing a generalized class of hyperbolic discount functions, which we term regular discount functions, support the results.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Graz, Department of Economics in its series Graz Economics Papers with number 2014-04.
Date of creation: Apr 2014
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Other versions of this item:
- Farzin, Y. Hossein & Wendner, Ronald, 2014. "The Time Path of the Saving Rate: Hyperbolic Discounting and Short-Term Planning," MPRA Paper 54614, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- 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
- O40 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
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