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Estimating the elasticity of intertemporal substitution taking into account the precautionary savings motive

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  • Gomes, Fábio Augusto Reis
  • Ribeiro, Priscila Fernandes

Abstract

This paper estimates the elasticity of intertemporal substitution for U.S. aggregate time series data, taking into account the precautionary savings motive. By making use of a recursive utility function, we estimate an Euler equation, via GMM. This procedure leads consumption growth rate to depend on asset returns, and on a time-varying variance, which captures the precautionary motive. When significant, the elasticity of intertemporal substitution estimates ranges from 0.4 to 1.8, which are higher than most of the results found in the literature. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that consumers react to risk; however, the contribution of precautionary motive to consumption growth seems to be limited.

Suggested Citation

  • Gomes, Fábio Augusto Reis & Ribeiro, Priscila Fernandes, 2015. "Estimating the elasticity of intertemporal substitution taking into account the precautionary savings motive," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 108-123.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:45:y:2015:i:c:p:108-123
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jmacro.2015.04.001
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumption; Asset returns; Elasticity of intertemporal substitution; Precautionary savings; Nonexpected utility;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C26 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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