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Precautionary wealth accumulation: a positive third derivative is not enough

  • Huggett, Mark
  • Vidon, Edouard

It is commonly conjectured that expected wealth accumulation increases when earnings risk increases as long as the utility function in each period is increasing, concave and has a positive third derivative. We present a counter example which highlights the importance of the convexity of the savings function.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V84-45M6FW5-4/2/2be400069851a7a3a97b8c62caa9fa25
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 76 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 323-329

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:76:y:2002:i:3:p:323-329
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolet

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  1. Miller, Bruce L., 1976. "The effect on optimal consumption of increased uncertainty in labor income in the multiperiod case," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 154-167, August.
  2. Sandmo, Agnar, 1970. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Saving Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 353-60, July.
  3. Sibley, David S., 1975. "Permanent and transitory income effects in a model of optimal consumption with wage income uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 68-82, August.
  4. Haim Mendelson & Yakov Amihud, 1982. "Optimal Consumption Policy under Uncertain Income," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(6), pages 683-697, June.
  5. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
  6. Caballero, Ricardo J, 1991. "Earnings Uncertainty and Aggregate Wealth Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 859-71, September.
  7. Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1996. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1797-1855, December.
  8. Carroll, Christopher D & Kimball, Miles S, 1996. "On the Concavity of the Consumption Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(4), pages 981-92, July.
  9. Mark Huggett, 2004. "Precautionary Wealth Accumulation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71, pages 769-781, 07.
  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. Schechtman, Jack, 1976. "An income fluctuation problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 218-241, April.
  12. Weil, Philippe, 1993. "Precautionary Savings and the Permanent Income Hypothesis," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 367-83, April.
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