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Aggregate Savings When Individual Income Varies

  • Martin Floden

    (Stockholm School of Economics)

This paper examines aggregate savings in a general equilibrium model where infinitely lived households face volatile (and possibly uncertain) income paths, hold a risk-free asset, and face a borrowing constraint. I first show that the equilibrium capital stock in an economy without uncertainty, but where individual income varies, can be larger than in an economy where each household's income is constant. When individual income is stochastic and uninsurable, the equilibrium capital stock is always larger than when income is constant. This additional capital accumulation has sometimes been interpreted as precautionary savings, but I argue that much of the additional savings are generated by permanent-income motives in combination with strict borrowing constraints. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 11 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 70-82

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:05-35
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  1. Gary Chamberlain & Charles A. Wilson, 2000. "Optimal Intertemporal Consumption Under Uncertainty," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(3), pages 365-395, July.
  2. Glenn R. Hubbard & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 3-95, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  3. Flodén, Martin, 2008. "A note on the accuracy of Markov-chain approximations to highly persistent AR(1) processes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 516-520, June.
  4. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Christopher I. & Yaron, Amir, 2004. "Consumption and risk sharing over the life cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 609-633, April.
  5. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
  6. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. repec:oup:restud:v:37:y:1970:i:3:p:353-60 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. repec:oup:qjecon:v:109:y:1994:i:3:p:659-84 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Huggett, Mark & Ospina, Sandra, 2001. "Aggregate precautionary savings: when is the third derivative irrelevant?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 373-396, October.
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