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Precautionary savings under liquidity constraints: evidence from Italy

  • M. Deidda

    ()

In this paper, I empirically investigate precautionary savings under liquidity constraints in Italy using household panel data. Following Jappelli and Pistaferri (2000) I analyze a 3- year (1989-1993) rotating panel of the Bank of Italy Survey of Household Income and Wealth (SHIW). I exploit a unique indicator of subjective variance of income growth, which allows to measure the strength of the precautionary motive for saving, and a variety of survey-based indicators of liquidity constraints. However, my analysis deviates from Jappelli and Pistaferri’s in three aspects. First of all, I attempt to differentiate between the standard precautionary motive for saving caused by uncertainty from the one due to liquidity constraints. I address this issue by using an endogenous switching regression approach, which allows me to cope with endogeneity issues associated with sample splitting techniques. Secondly, I try to capture changes in consumption behaviour of households who are not constrained at present , but expect binding constraints in the future. Finally,I cope with the downward bias in the estimation of the parameter associated to the subjective variance of income growth, using a direct measure of risk aversion. I eventually found the precautionary motive for savings to be stronger for those households who face binding constraints, or expect constraints to be binding in the future. Indeed, a complementarity relation exists between precautionary savings and liquidity constraints. Moreover, the introduction of a survey-based measure of risk aversion allows a better identification of the coefficient associated with the subjective measure of variance of income growth.

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Paper provided by Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia in its series Working Paper CRENoS with number 200918.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:200918
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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. Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2010. "The Consumption Response to Income Changes," NBER Working Papers 15739, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Luigi Guiso & Monica Paiella, 2008. "Risk Aversion, Wealth, and Background Risk," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(6), pages 1109-1150, December.
  4. Yannis M. Ioannides & Vassilis A. Hajivassiliou, 2007. "Unemployment and liquidity constraints," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(3), pages 479-510.
  5. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 2001. "The Empirical Importance of Precautionary Saving," NBER Working Papers 8107, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Garcia, R. & Lusardi, A. & Ng, S., 1995. "Excess Sensitivity and Asymmetries in Consumption: An Empirical Investigation," Cahiers de recherche 9511, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  7. Giucca, P. & Jappelli, T. & Terlizzese, D., 1992. "Earning Uncertainty and Precautionary Saving," Papers 161, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  8. Karen E. Dynan, 1993. "How prudent are consumers?," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 135, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Hayashi, Fumio, 1985. "The Permanent Income Hypothesis and Consumption Durability: Analysis Based on Japanese Panel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1083-1113, November.
  10. Alessandra Guariglia, 2001. "Saving behaviour and earnings uncertainty: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 619-634.
  11. Hayashi, Fumio, 1985. "The Effect of Liquidity Constraints on Consumption: A Cross-sectional Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(1), pages 183-206, February.
  12. Jappelli, Tullio, 1990. "Who Is Credit Constrained in the U.S. Economy?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 219-34, February.
  13. Jonathan S. Skinner, 1987. "Risky Income, Life Cycle Consumption, and Precautionary Savings," NBER Working Papers 2336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Consumption and Liquidity Constraints: An Empirical Investigation," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 16-88, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  15. Runkle, David E., 1991. "Liquidity constraints and the permanent-income hypothesis : Evidence from panel data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 73-98, February.
  16. Dynan, Karen E, 1993. "How Prudent Are Consumers?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 1104-13, December.
  17. Hall, Robert E & Mishkin, Frederic S, 1982. "The Sensitivity of Consumption to Transitory Income: Estimates from Panel Data on Households," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(2), pages 461-81, March.
  18. Jeong-Joon Lee & Yasuyuki Sawada, 2005. "Precautionary Saving under LiquidityConstraints: Evidence from Rural Pakistan," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-377, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  19. Arthur Kennickell & Annamaria Lusardi, 2004. "Disentangling the Importance of the Precautionary Saving Mode," NBER Working Papers 10888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Christopher D. Carroll, 2001. "A Theory of the Consumption Function, with and without Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 23-45, Summer.
  21. Smith, Richard J & Blundell, Richard W, 1986. "An Exogeneity Test for a Simultaneous Equation Tobit Model with an Application to Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 679-85, May.
  22. Nocetti Diego & Smith William T, 2010. "Uncertainty, the Demand for Health Care, and Precautionary Saving," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-31, August.
  23. 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.
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