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Income Uncertainty and IRAs

  • Warren Hrung


In a precautionary savings setting, since Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are poor substitutes for precautionary savings due to early withdrawal penalties, those facing more income uncertainty are expected to prefer more liquid assets. This paper investigates the role of income uncertainty in IRA participation. Confidential tax panel data is used to construct a measure of income uncertainty. Greater income uncertainty is found to have a negative influence on IRA participation for those in the immediate pre-retirement stage of the life-cycle. The results appear to be consistent with buffer-stock models of savings where income uncertainty is predicted to have a large effect on wealth accumulation beginning around age 50. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 9 (2002)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
Pages: 591-599

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:9:y:2002:i:5:p:591-599
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  8. Daniel Feenberg & Jonathan Skinner, 1989. "Sources of IRA Saving," NBER Working Papers 2845, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Daniel Feenberg & Jonathan Skinner, 1989. "Sources of IRA Saving," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 3, pages 25-46 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 1993. "The Importance of Precautionary Motives in Explaining Individual and Aggregate Saving," NBER Working Papers 4516, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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