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Risk-Sensitive Consumption and Savings under Rational Inattention

  • Yulei Luo
  • Eric R. Young

This paper studies the consumption-savings behavior of households who have risk-sensitive preferences and suffer from limited information-processing capacity (rational inattention or RI). We first solve the model explicitly and show that RI increases precautionary savings by interacting with income uncertainty and risk sensitivity. Given the closed-form solutions, we find that the RI model displays a wide range of observational equivalence properties, implying that consumption and savings data cannot distinguish between risk sensitivity, robustness, or the discount factor, in any combination. We then show that the welfare costs from RI are larger for risk-sensitive households than any other observationally-equivalent settings. (JEL D11, D81, D82, E13, E21)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/mac.2.4.281
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 281-325

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:2:y:2010:i:4:p:281-325
Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.2.4.281
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-macro
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  1. Louis Eeckhoudt & Harris Schlesinger, 2008. "Changes in Risk and the Demand for Saving," CESifo Working Paper Series 2388, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-87, December.
  3. David Backus & Bryan Routledge & Stanley Zin, 2004. "Exotic Preferences for Macroeconomists," Working Papers 04-20, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  4. Batchuluun, Altantsetseg & Luo, Yulei & Young, Eric, 2014. "Portfolio Choice with Information-Processing Limits," MPRA Paper 58538, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. TallariniJr., Thomas D., 2000. "Risk-sensitive real business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 507-532, June.
  6. Luo Yulei & Young Eric R, 2009. "Rational Inattention and Aggregate Fluctuations," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-43, April.
  7. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1, 07.
  8. Milton Friedman, 1957. "Introduction to "A Theory of the Consumption Function"," NBER Chapters, in: A Theory of the Consumption Function, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Yulei Luo, 2005. "Consumption Dynamics under Information Processing Constraints," Macroeconomics 0505011, EconWPA, revised 03 Jun 2005.
  10. van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1993. "A Closed-Form Solution for a Model of Precautionary Saving," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 385-95, April.
  11. Antonella Tutino, 2008. "The rigidity of choice: Lifecycle savings with information-processing limits," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-62, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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