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Is There a Retirement-Savings Puzzle?

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  • Banks, James
  • Blundell, Richard
  • Tanner, Sarah

Abstract

This paper addresses whether households save enough for their retirement. For successive date-of-birth cohorts the authors analyze income and expenditure patterns around the time of retirement. They find a fall in consumption as household heads retire which cannot be fully explained by a forward-looking consumption-smoothing model that accounts for expected demographic changes and mortality risk. Controlling for labor-market participation explains part, but not all, of this dip. The authors argue that the only way to reconcile fully the fall in consumption with the life-cycle hypothesis is with the systematic arrival of unexpected adverse information. Copyright 1998 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Banks, James & Blundell, Richard & Tanner, Sarah, 1998. "Is There a Retirement-Savings Puzzle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 769-788, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:88:y:1998:i:4:p:769-88
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