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Effect of saving motives and horizon on saving behaviors


  • Fisher, Patti J.
  • Montalto, Catherine P.


The purpose of this research is to explore saving motives and saving horizon using a large, nationally representative dataset, the Survey of Consumer Finances. The framework is based on prospect theory, in which consumption and saving decisions are based on a reference point rather than on lifetime income. Prospect theory also posits that individuals construct various mental accounts, thereby allowing for households to have multiple saving motives. Since prospect theory does not assume that saving decisions are based on lifetime income, saving horizons are allowed to vary. The emergency and retirement saving motives are found to significantly increase the likelihood of saving regularly. Longer saving horizons are also found to have a highly significant effect on the likelihood of saving, while poor health is shown to have a significantly negative effect on the likelihood of saving. The results show that the saving motives held by households differ by saving horizon, but the exact relationships are unclear. Further research on the link between saving motives, saving horizon, and saving behaviors is needed. It is important for financial professionals and educators to consider a household's saving goals, saving horizon, and health status when making recommendations or developing financial plans.

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  • Fisher, Patti J. & Montalto, Catherine P., 2010. "Effect of saving motives and horizon on saving behaviors," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 92-105, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:31:y:2010:i:1:p:92-105

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Berg, Nathan & Kim, Jeong-Yoo, 2010. "Demand for Self Control: A model of Consumer Response to Programs and Products that Moderate Consumption," MPRA Paper 26593, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Kassenboehmer, Sonja C. & Schurer, Stefanie, 2014. "Healthy habits: The connection between diet, exercise, and locus of control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 1-28.
    3. Patti Fisher & Catherine Montalto, 2011. "Loss Aversion and Saving Behavior: Evidence from the 2007 U.S. Survey of Consumer Finances," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 4-14, March.
    4. Shim, Soyeon & Serido, Joyce & Tang, Chuanyi, 2012. "The ant and the grasshopper revisited: The present psychological benefits of saving and future oriented financial behaviors," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 155-165.
    5. Alassane Diaw, 2017. "Retirement Preparedness in Saudi Arabia," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 7(1), pages 78-86.
    6. Alina Maria NEAȚU, 2015. "The use of behavioral economics in promoting public policy," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania - AGER, vol. 0(2(603), S), pages 255-264, Summer.
    7. Oppewal, Harmen & Paas, Leonard J. & Crouch, Geoffrey I. & Huybers, Twan, 2010. "Segmenting consumers based on how they spend a tax rebate: An analysis of the Australian stimulus payment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 510-519, August.
    8. Elizabeth Whitaker & Janet Bokemeiner & Scott Loveridge, 2013. "Interactional Associations of Gender on Savings Behavior: Showing Gender’s Continued Influence on Economic Action," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 105-119, March.
    9. Patti Fisher, 2013. "Is There Evidence of Loss Aversion in Saving Behaviors in Spain?," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 41-51, March.
    10. repec:agr:journl:v:2(602):y:2015:i:2(602):p:255-264 is not listed on IDEAS

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