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The Spirit of Capitalism, Precautionary Savings, and Consumption

  • YULEI LUO
  • WILLIAM T. SMITH
  • HENG-FU ZOU

Recent research has shown that the "spirit of capitalism"-a preference for wealth itself, in addition to consumption-has important implications for growth and asset pricing. This paper explores how the spirit of capitalism affects saving and consumption behavior. We demonstrate that the spirit of capitalism may reduce the importance of precautionary savings. It can also explain the excess sensitivity puzzle: the spirit of capitalism causes dramatic deviations from a random walk. It may also offer a partial explanation of the excess smoothness puzzle. Copyright (c) 2009 The Ohio State University.

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File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1538-4616.2009.00221.x
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Article provided by Blackwell Publishing in its journal Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Volume (Year): 41 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (03)
Pages: 543-554

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Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:41:y:2009:i:2-3:p:543-554
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  1. Campbell, John & Deaton, Angus, 1989. "Why Is Consumption So Smooth?," Scholarly Articles 3221494, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Heng-fu Zou, 1995. "'The spirit of capitalism' and long-run growth," CEMA Working Papers 94, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  3. John Y. Campbell, 1992. "Inspecting the Mechanism: An Analytical Approach to the Stochastic Growth Model," NBER Working Papers 4188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Gong, Liutang & Zou, Heng-fu, 2002. "Direct preferences for wealth, the risk premium puzzle, growth, and policy effectiveness," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 247-270, February.
  5. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 2002. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 47-89, January.
  6. Wang, Neng, 2006. "Generalizing the permanent-income hypothesis: Revisiting Friedman's conjecture on consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 737-752, May.
  7. Heng-fu Zou, 1995. "The spirit of capitalism and savings behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 131-143, September.
  8. Luo, Yulei & Young, Eric R., 2009. "The Wealth Distribution And The Demand For Status," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(S1), pages 1-30, May.
  9. Gong, Liutang & Zou, Heng-Fu, 2001. "Money, Social Status, and Capital Accumulation in a Cash-in-Advance Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 284-93, May.
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