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Aggregate Savings When Individual Income Varies

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  • Martin Floden

    (Stockholm School of Economics)

Abstract

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)

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Floden, 2008. "Aggregate Savings When Individual Income Varies," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(1), pages 70-82, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:05-35
    DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2007.06.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 2004. "Recursive Macroeconomic Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 026212274x, December.
    5. 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.
    6. Hubbard, R Glenn & Skinner, Jonathan & Zeldes, Stephen P, 1995. "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 360-399, April.
    7. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
    8. A. Sandmo, 1970. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Saving Decisions," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 37(3), pages 353-360.
    9. 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.
    10. Hayne E. Leland, 1968. "Saving and Uncertainty: The Precautionary Demand for Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 82(3), pages 465-473.
    11. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Flodén, 2006. "Labour Supply and Saving Under Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(513), pages 721-737, July.
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    3. Feigenbaum, James, 2011. "Precautionary saving or denied dissaving," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 1559-1572, July.
    4. Tiago Berriel & Rodrigo Abreu, 2015. "Long Term Debt and Credit Crisis in a Liquidity Constrained Economy," Textos para discussão 644, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Equilibrium interest rate; Aggregate savings; Precautionary saving; Infinite horizon; General equilibrium;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General

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