IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/openec/v26y2015i5p911-939.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Precautionary Strategies and Household Saving

Author

Listed:
  • Joshua Aizenman

    ()

  • Eduardo Cavallo

    ()

  • Ilan Noy

    ()

Abstract

Why do people save? A strand of the literature has emphasized the role of ‘precautionary’ motives; i.e., private agents save in order to mitigate unexpected future income shocks. An implication is that in countries faced with more macroeconomic volatility and risk, private saving should be higher. From the observable data, however, we find a negative correlation between risk and private saving in cross-country comparisons, particularly in developing countries. We provide a plausible explanation for the disconnect between precautionary-saving theory and the empirical evidence that is based on a model with a richer account for the various modes of ‘precautionary’ behavior by private agents, in cases where institutions are weaker and labor informality is prevalent. In such environments, household saving decisions are intertwined with firms’ investment decisions. As a result, the interaction between saving behavior, broadly construed, and aggregate risk and uncertainty, may be more complex than is frequently assumed. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua Aizenman & Eduardo Cavallo & Ilan Noy, 2015. "Precautionary Strategies and Household Saving," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 26(5), pages 911-939, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:openec:v:26:y:2015:i:5:p:911-939
    DOI: 10.1007/s11079-015-9351-2
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11079-015-9351-2
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Maloney, William F., 2004. "Informality Revisited," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1178, July.
    2. Aizenman, Joshua & Marion, Nancy, 1999. "Volatility and Investment: Interpreting Evidence from Developing Countries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(262), pages 157-179, May.
    3. D'Erasmo, Pablo N. & Moscoso Boedo, Hernan J., 2012. "Financial structure, informality and development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 286-302.
    4. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    5. Francois Gourio, 2012. "Disaster Risk and Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2734-2766, October.
    6. Matias Busso & Maria Victoria Fazio & Santiago Levy Algazi, 2012. "(In)Formal and (Un)Productive: The Productivity Costs of Excessive Informality in Mexico," Research Department Publications 4789, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    7. Rafael La Porta & Andrei Shleifer, 2008. "The Unofficial Economy and Economic Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(2 (Fall)), pages 275-363.
    8. Henrik Cronqvist & Stephan Siegel, 2015. "The Origins of Savings Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 123(1), pages 123-169.
    9. Stephen P. Zeldes, 1989. "Optimal Consumption with Stochastic Income: Deviations from Certainty Equivalence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 275-298.
    10. Matías Busso & Maria Victoria Fazio & Santiago Levy Algazi, 2012. "(In)Formal and (Un)Productive: The Productivity Costs of Excessive Informality in Mexico," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 75698, Inter-American Development Bank.
    11. Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 2010. "Wanting Robustness in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 20, pages 1097-1157, Elsevier.
    12. Fogli, Alessandra & Perri, Fabrizio, 2015. "Macroeconomic volatility and external imbalances," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 1-15.
    13. repec:hrv:faseco:33078210 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Skinner, Jonathan, 1988. "Risky income, life cycle consumption, and precautionary savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 237-255, September.
    15. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson & Robert Barro & José Ursúa, 2013. "Crises and Recoveries in an Empirical Model of Consumption Disasters," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 35-74, July.
    16. Sangeeta Pratap & Erwan Quintin, 2006. "The Informal Sector in Developing Countries: Output, Assets and Employment," WIDER Working Paper Series RP2006-130, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    17. Ricardo Bebczuk & Eduardo Cavallo, 2016. "Is business saving really none of our business?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(24), pages 2266-2284, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Flavia Corneli, 2017. "Medium and long term implications of financial integration without financial development," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1120, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    2. Cengiz Tunc & Abdullah Yavas, 2017. "Collateral Damage: The Impact of Mortgage Debt on U.S. Savings," Housing Policy Debate, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(5), pages 712-733, September.
    3. Corneille, Olivier & D'Hondt, Catherine & De Winne, Rudy & Efendic, Emir & Todorovic, Aleksandar, 2020. "What leads people to tolerate negative interest rates on their savings?," LIDAM Discussion Papers LFIN 2020005, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain Finance (LFIN).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Lopez-Martin, Bernabe, 2019. "Informal Sector Misallocation," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(8), pages 3065-3098, December.
    2. Grigoli, Francesco & Herman, Alexander & Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus, 2018. "Saving in the world," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 257-270.
    3. Aizenman, Joshua & Noy, Ilan, 2015. "Saving and the long shadow of macroeconomic shocks," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 147-159.
    4. Constantino J. Gode, 2001. "Sovereign Debt and Uncertainty in the Mozambican Economy," WIDER Working Paper Series DP2001-130, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Finkelstein Shapiro, Alan & González Gómez, Andrés, 2017. "Credit market imperfections, labor markets, and leverage dynamics in emerging economies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 44-63.
    6. Clemens, Christiane & Heinemann, Maik, 2015. "Endogenous growth and wealth inequality under incomplete markets and idiosyncratic risk," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 300-317.
    7. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2017. "The Causes and Costs of Misallocation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 151-174, Summer.
    8. Bernabe Lopez-Martin & David Perez-Reyna, 2018. "Contracts, Firm Dynamics and Aggregate Productivity," Documentos CEDE 016821, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    9. Matteo Bobba & Luca Flabbi & Santiago Levy & Mauricio Tejada, 2019. "Labor Market Search, Informality, and On-The-Job Human Capital Accumulation," ILADES-UAH Working Papers inv326, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Business.
    10. Colombo, Emilio & Onnis, Luisanna & Tirelli, Patrizio, 2016. "Shadow economies at times of banking crises: Empirics and theory," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 180-190.
    11. D׳Erasmo, Pablo N. & Moscoso Boedo, Hernan J. & Şenkal, Aslı, 2014. "Misallocation, informality, and human capital: Understanding the role of institutions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 122-142.
    12. Allen, Jeffrey & Nataraj, Shanthi & Schipper, Tyler C., 2018. "Strict duality and overlapping productivity distributions between formal and informal firms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 534-554.
    13. Francesco Grigoli & Alexander Herman & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2014. "World Saving," IMF Working Papers 2014/204, International Monetary Fund.
    14. Cristina Fernández & Leonardo Villar & Nicolás Gómez, 2017. "Taxonomía de la informalidad en América Latina," Coyuntura Económica, Fedesarrollo, vol. 47(1 y 2), pages 137-167, December.
    15. Eduardo Lora, 2016. "The Path to Labor Formality: Urban Agglomeration and the Emergence of Complex Industries," CID Working Papers 78, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    16. Moreno-Monroy, Ana I. & Posada, Héctor M., 2018. "The effect of commuting costs and transport subsidies on informality rates," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 99-112.
    17. Marcel Das & Bas Donkers, 1999. "How Certain Are Dutch Households About Future Income? An Empirical Analysis," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(3), pages 325-338, September.
    18. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7079 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Christopher Carroll & Martin Sommer & Jiri Slacalek, 2012. "Dissecting Saving Dynamics; Measuring Wealth, Precautionary, and Credit Effects," IMF Working Papers 2012/219, International Monetary Fund.
    20. Luis Catao & Carmen Pages & Maria Fernanda Rosales, 2009. "Financial Dependence, Formal Credit and Informal Jobs - New Evidence from Brazilian Household Data," Research Department Publications 4642, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    21. Bidder, R.M. & Smith, M.E., 2018. "Doubts and variability: A robust perspective on exotic consumption series," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 689-712.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Precautionary savings; Macroeconomic risks; Informality; Family firms; E21; E26;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:openec:v:26:y:2015:i:5:p:911-939. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.