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Self-Insurance in a Life-Cycle Model of Labor Supply and Savings

  • Hamish Low

    (University of Cambridge)

This paper analyses the incentives to work and to save over the life-cycle in the presence of incomplete markets. In a calibrated, partial equilibrium model, flexibility in hours worked changes asset age-profiles: borrowing when young is greater and saving when middle-aged is greater than when labor supply is fixed. Uncertainty causes individuals to work longer hours and to consume less when young. With flexibility over hours, accumulating precautionary assets incurs less of a utility cost and so the level of saving is greater. Further, allowing for flexibility and uncertainty means simulated hours of work and consumption more closely match the age profiles in the data. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2005.03.002
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 8 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 945-975

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:8:y:2005:i:4:p:945-975
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  1. Blundell, Richard & Browning, Martin & Meghir, Costas, 1994. "Consumer Demand and the Life-Cycle Allocation of Household Expenditures," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 57-80, January.
  2. Orazio Attanasio & Hamish Low & Virginia Sanchez-Marcos, 2008. "Explaining Changes in Female Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1517-52, September.
  3. Attanasio, Orazio P & Weber, Guglielmo, 1995. "Is Consumption Growth Consistent with Intertemporal Optimization? Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1121-57, December.
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  15. Heckman, James J, 1974. "Life Cycle Consumption and Labor Supply: An Explanation of the Relationship Between Income and Consumption Over the Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(1), pages 188-94, March.
  16. Cagetti, Marco, 2003. "Wealth Accumulation over the Life Cycle and Precautionary Savings," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(3), pages 339-53, July.
  17. Chris Carroll & Lawrence H. Summers, 1989. "Consumption Growth Parallels Income Growth: Some New Evidence," NBER Working Papers 3090, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  19. Browning, Martin & Meghir, Costas, 1991. "The Effects of Male and Female Labor Supply on Commodity Demands," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 925-51, July.
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