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Risk-Sensitive Consumption and Savings under Rational Inattention

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  • Yulei Luo
  • Eric R. Young

Abstract

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)

Suggested Citation

  • Yulei Luo & Eric R. Young, 2010. "Risk-Sensitive Consumption and Savings under Rational Inattention," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 281-325, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:2:y:2010:i:4:p:281-325 Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.2.4.281
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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 971-987, December.
    2. Sims, Christopher A., 2005. "Rational inattention: a research agenda," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,34, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
    3. Yulei Luo, 2005. "Consumption Dynamics under Information Processing Constraints," Macroeconomics 0505011, EconWPA, revised 04 Jun 2005.
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    5. David K. Backus & Bryan R. Routledge & Stanley E. Zin, 2005. "Exotic Preferences for Macroeconomists," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 319-414 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Luo Yulei & Young Eric R, 2009. "Rational Inattention and Aggregate Fluctuations," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, pages 1-43.
    7. 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.).
    8. Eeckhoudt, Louis & Schlesinger, Harris, 2008. "Changes in risk and the demand for saving," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, pages 1329-1336.
    9. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-969, July.
    10. Flavin, Marjorie A, 1981. "The Adjustment of Consumption to Changing Expectations about Future Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 974-1009, October.
    11. 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.
    12. Cochrane, John H, 1989. "The Sensitivity of Tests of the Intertemporal Allocation of Consumption to Near-Rational Alternatives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 319-337.
    13. Batchuluun, Altantsetseg & Luo, Yulei & Young, Eric, 2014. "Portfolio Choice with Information-Processing Limits," MPRA Paper 58538, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Frederick van der Ploeg, 1993. "A Closed-form Solution for a Model of Precautionary Saving," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(2), pages 385-395.
    15. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Yulei Luo & Eric R. Young, 2016. "Long‐Run Consumption Risk and Asset Allocation under Recursive Utility and Rational Inattention," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 48(2-3), pages 325-362, March.
    2. Yulei Luo & Jun Nie & Eric R. Young, 2012. "Model uncertainty, state uncertainty, and state-space models," Research Working Paper RWP 12-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    3. Luo, Yulei & Nie, Jun & Wang, Gaowang & Young, Eric, 2014. "What We Don't Know Doesn't Hurt Us: Rational Inattention and the Permanent Income Hypothesis in General Equilibrium," MPRA Paper 59182, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Yulei Luo & Jun Nie & Eric R. Young, 2015. "Slow Information Diffusion And The Inertial Behavior Of Durable Consumption," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(5), pages 805-840, October.
    5. Luo, Yulei & Nie, Jun & Young, Eric R., 2014. "Model uncertainty and intertemporal tax smoothing," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, pages 289-314.
    6. Masino, Serena & Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel, 2014. "Social service delivery and access to financial innovation. The impact of Oportunidades’ electronic payment system in Mexico," MPRA Paper 53430, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Luo, Yulei & Nie, Jun & Young, Eric R., 2014. "Robust control, informational frictions, and international consumption correlations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 1-27.
    8. Luo, Yulei & Young, Eric R., 2016. "Induced uncertainty, market price of risk, and the dynamics of consumption and wealth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 1-41.
    9. Luo, Yulei & Nie, Jun & Young, Eric, 2015. "Robust Permanent Income in General Equilibrium," MPRA Paper 63985, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Luo, Yulei, 2015. "Robustly Strategic Consumption-Portfolio Rules with Informational Frictions," MPRA Paper 64312, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Batchuluun, Altantsetseg & Luo, Yulei & Young, Eric, 2014. "Portfolio Choice with Information-Processing Limits," MPRA Paper 58538, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Luo, Yulei, 2014. "Strategic Consumption-Portfolio Rules and Precautionary Savings with Informational Frictions," MPRA Paper 58077, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Edilio Valentini & Paolo Vitale, 2014. "Optimal Climate Policy for a Pessimistic Social Planner," Working Papers 2014.33, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    14. Luo, Yulei & Nie, Jun & Wang, Gaowang & Young, Eric R., 2017. "Rational inattention and the dynamics of consumption and wealth in general equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 55-87.
    15. Luo, Yulei & Young, Eric, 2013. "Rational Inattention in Macroeconomics: A Survey," MPRA Paper 54267, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Luo, Yulei & Nie, Jun & Young, Eric R., 2012. "Robustness, information–processing constraints, and the current account in small open economies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 104-120.
    17. Chen, Heng & Luo, Yulei & Pei, Guangyu, 2015. "Attention misallocation, social welfare and policy implications," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 37-57.
    18. Chen, Heng & Luo, Yulei & Pei, Guangyu, 2014. "Too Much of a Good Thing: Attention Misallocation and Social Welfare in Coordination Games," MPRA Paper 59139, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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