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Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large


  • Kimball, Miles S


The theory of precautionary saving is shown to be isomorphic to the Arrow-Pratt theory of risk aversion, making possible the application of a large body of knowledge about risk aversion to precautionary saving--and more generally, to the theory of optimal choice under risk. In particular, a measure of the strength of the precautionary saving motive analogous to the Arrow-Pratt measure of risk aversion is used to establish a number of new propositions about precautionary saving and to give a new interpretation of the Dreze-Modigliani substitution effect. Copyright 1990 by The Econometric Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:58:y:1990:i:1:p:53-73

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kimball, Miles S & Mankiw, N Gregory, 1989. "Precautionary Saving and the Timing of Taxes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 863-879, August.
    2. Hayne E. Leland, 1968. "Saving and Uncertainty: The Precautionary Demand for Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(3), pages 465-473.
    3. Dreze, Jacques H. & Modigliani, Franco, 1972. "Consumption decisions under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 308-335, December.
    4. Diamond, Peter A. & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1974. "Increases in risk and in risk aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 337-360, July.
    5. Merton, Robert C., 1971. "Optimum consumption and portfolio rules in a continuous-time model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 373-413, December.
    6. Kimball, Miles S., 1989. "The effect of demand uncertainty on a precommitted monopoly price," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-5.
    7. Ross, Stephen A, 1981. "Some Stronger Measures of Risk Aversion in the Small and the Large with Applications," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 621-638, May.
    8. Stephen Zeldes, "undated". "Optimal Consumption with Stochastic Income: Deviations from Certainty Equivalence," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 20-86, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    9. Miles S. Kimball, 1990. "Precautionary Saving and the Marginal Propensity to Consume," NBER Working Papers 3403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
    11. Rulon D. Pope & Jean-Paul Chavas, 1985. "Producer Surplus and Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(Supplemen), pages 853-869.
    12. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Romer, David & Williams, Steve, 1981. "Risk Aversion with Random Initial Wealth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 911-920, June.
    13. Nachman, David C., 1982. "Preservation of "more risk averse" under expectations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 361-368, December.
    14. Pratt, John W & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1987. "Proper Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 143-154, January.
    15. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1971. "Increasing risk II: Its economic consequences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 66-84, March.
    16. A. Sandmo, 1970. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Saving Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(3), pages 353-360.
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