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How Prudent are Community Representative Consumers?

Author

Listed:
  • Chen Yuyu

    (Peking University)

  • Zhou Li-An

    (Peking University)

Abstract

The empirical analysis of precautionary savings based on household level has long suffered from the assumption of no risk-sharing behavior and measurement errors. Using a unique dataset from China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS), we provide an explicit estimate of the relative prudence coefficient of a representative consumer in the Chinese community. As the main innovation of this paper, focusing our estimation on the community, rather than individual household level, is motivated by two salient features of Chinese communities: the virtual isolation between the communities and a significant amount of risk-sharing within each community. Averaging consumption growth across individual households in the same community in China's context can reduce measurement errors. We show that the relative prudence coefficient for a community representative consumer is dramatically greater than that of an individual household, which is consistent with the widely agreed belief about the magnitude of risk-aversion in the life-cycle model.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen Yuyu & Zhou Li-An, 2003. "How Prudent are Community Representative Consumers?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-20, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:topics.3:y:2003:i:1:n:4
    DOI: 10.2202/1534-5998.1057
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Lee, Jeong-Joon & Sawada, Yasuyuki, 2010. "Precautionary saving under liquidity constraints: Evidence from rural Pakistan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 77-86, January.
    2. Jeong-Joon Lee & Yasuyuki Sawada, 2005. "Precautionary Saving under Liquidity Constraints: Evidence from Rural Pakistan (Published in "Journal of Development Economics". )," CARF F-Series CARF-F-051, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.

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