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Short-term planning and the life-cycle consumption puzzle

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  • Caliendo, Frank
  • Aadland, David

Abstract

This paper provides a new explanation for the hump-shaped age- consumption profile observed in household data. Standard life-cycle models are based on an optimization problem that spans the entire life expectancy. Alternatively, we examine the consumption profile of an individual with a shorter planning horizon. The actual consumption profile is the envelope of a continuum of control problems because the agent’s short-term planning horizon continually slides along the time- scale, and the agent is therefore continually re-optimizing. We derive analytical solutions to a deterministic, continuous-time control model with this characteristic and we show that hump-shaped consumption is a feature of the model.
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Suggested Citation

  • Caliendo, Frank & Aadland, David, 2007. "Short-term planning and the life-cycle consumption puzzle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 1392-1415, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:31:y:2007:i:4:p:1392-1415
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design

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