How do contribution limits affect contributions to tax-preferred savings accounts?
Contributions to tax-preferred savings accounts are typically constrained by a contribution limit. These limits influence contributions not just in periods in which they bind, but in other periods as well. I develop a simple life-cycle model in which consumers exhibit "use-it-or-lose-it" contribution behaviour. This connects current contributions to future contribution limits, which leads to the result that an increase in contribution limits can decrease contributions. Empirical evidence provides support for the model--larger future contribution room is associated with smaller contributions.
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