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Effect of saving motives and horizon on saving behaviors

  • Fisher, Patti J.
  • Montalto, Catherine P.
Registered author(s):

    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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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

    Volume (Year): 31 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 92-105

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:31:y:2010:i:1:p:92-105
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

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