How Important is Precautionary Saving?
AbstractWe estimate the fraction of the wealth of a sample of PSID respondents that is held because some households face greater income uncertainty than others. We first derive an equation characterizing the theoretical relationship between wealth and uncertainty in a buffer-stock model of saving. Next, we estimate that equation using PSID data; we find strong evidence that households engage in precautionary saving. Finally, we simulate the wealth distribution that would prevail if all households had the same uncertainty as the lowest-uncertainty group. We find that between 39 and 46 percent of wealth in our sample is attributable to uncertainty differentials across groups.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5194.
Date of creation: Jul 1995
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 80, no. 3 (1998): 410-419.
Note: AG EFG PE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- 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
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997.
"Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments,"
Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
- Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Christopher D. Carroll, 1992. "The Buffer-Stock Theory of Saving: Some Macroeconomic Evidence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 61-156.
- Caballero, Ricardo J., 1990.
"Consumption puzzles and precautionary savings,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 113-136, January.
- Hall, Robert E, 1988.
"Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-57, April.
- Sandmo, Agnar, 1970. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Saving Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 353-60, July.
- Kimball, Miles S, 1990.
"Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large,"
Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
- Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Angus Deaton, 1989.
"Saving and Liquidity Constraints,"
NBER Working Papers
3196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Runkle, David E., 1991. "Liquidity constraints and the permanent-income hypothesis : Evidence from panel data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 73-98, February.
- Hubbard, R. Glenn & Skinner, Jonathan & Zeldes, Stephen P., 1994.
"The importance of precautionary motives in explaining individual and aggregate saving,"
Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy,
Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 59-125, June.
- R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 1993. "The Importance of Precautionary Motives in Explaining Individual and Aggregate Saving," NBER Working Papers 4516, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1990. "Empirical Age-Earnings Profiles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(2), pages 202-29, April.
- Skinner, Jonathan, 1988.
"Risky income, life cycle consumption, and precautionary savings,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 237-255, September.
- Jonathan S. Skinner, 1987. "Risky Income, Life Cycle Consumption, and Precautionary Savings," NBER Working Papers 2336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert E. Lipsey & Helen Stone Tice, 1989. "The Measurement of Saving, Investment, and Wealth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number lips89-1, July.
- Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
- Elmendorf, Douglas W & Kimball, Miles S, 2000.
"Taxation of Labor Income and the Demand for Risky Assets,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(3), pages 801-33, August.
- Douglas W. Elmendorf & Miles S. Kimball, 1996. "Taxation of labor income and the demand for risky assets," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-32, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Douglas W. Elmendorf & Miles S. Kimball, 1991. "Taxation of Labor Income and the Demand For Risky Assets," NBER Working Papers 3904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- S. Rao Aiyagari, 1993.
"Uninsured idiosyncratic risk and aggregate saving,"
502, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1992.
"Earnings uncertainty and precautionary saving,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 307-337, November.
- Giucca, P. & Jappelli, T. & Terlizzese, D., 1992. "Earning Uncertainty and Precautionary Saving," Papers 161, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
- Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1992. "Earnings Uncertainty and Precautionary Saving," CEPR Discussion Papers 699, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Richard T. Curtin & Thomas Juster & James N. Morgan, 1989. "Survey Estimates of Wealth: An Assessment of Quality," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement of Saving, Investment, and Wealth, pages 473-552 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John Bound & David A. Jaeger & Regina Baker, 1993. "The Cure Can Be Worse than the Disease: A Cautionary Tale Regarding Instrumental Variables," NBER Technical Working Papers 0137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Cochrane, John H, 1991. "A Simple Test of Consumption Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 957-76, October.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.