The Empirical Importance of Precautionary Saving
One of the basic motives for saving is the accumulation of wealth to insure future welfare. Both introspection and extant research on consumption insurance find that people face substantial risks that they do not fairly pool. In theory, the consumption and wealth accumulation of price-taking households in an economy with incomplete markets differs substantially from the behaviour of these same households in the equivalent economy with complete-markets. The question we address in this article is whether we find this difference to be large in practice. What is the empirical importance of precautionary saving? We provide a simple decomposition that characterizes the importance of precautionary saving in the US economy. We use this decomposition as an organizing framework to present four main findings: (a) the concavity of the consumption policy rule, (b) the importance of precautionary saving for life-cycle saving and wealth accumulation, (c) the contribution of changes in risk to fluctuations in aggregate consumption and (d) the significant impact of incomplete markets on aggregate fluctuations in calibrated general equilibrium models. We conclude with directions for future research.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2001|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.|
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
|Order Information:|| Email: |
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Carroll, Christopher D & Kimball, Miles S, 1996.
"On the Concavity of the Consumption Function,"
Econometric Society, vol. 64(4), pages 981-92, July.
- Christopher D. Carroll & Miles S. Kimball, 1995. "On the concavity of the consumption function," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Christopher D. Carroll & Miles S. Kimball, 1995. "On the Concavity of the Consumption Function," Macroeconomics 9503003, EconWPA.
- Kjetil Storesletten & Chris Telmer & Amir Yaron, 1996.
"Asset pricing with idiosyncratic risk and overlapping generations,"
Economics Working Papers
405, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 1999.
- Kjetil Storesletten & Chris Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2007. "Asset Pricing with Idiosyncratic Risk and Overlapping Generations," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(4), pages 519-548, October.
- Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Chris & Yaron, Amir, 2002. "Asset pricing with idiosyncratic risk and overlapping generations," Seminar Papers 703, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Chris & Yaron, Amir, 2001. "Asset Pricing with Idiosyncratic Risk and Overlapping Generations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3065, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Kjetil Storesletten & Chris Telmer & Amir Yaron, . "Asset pricing with idiosyncratic risk and overlapping generations," GSIA Working Papers 226, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
- Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2000. "Precautionary Savings, LifeCycle and Macroeconomics," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0793, Econometric Society.
- Deaton, A., 1989.
"Saving And Liquidity Constraints,"
153, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
- Gourinchas, P.O. & Parker, J.A., 1997.
"Consumption Over the Life Cycle,"
9722, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 1999. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 7271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Parker, Jonathan A, 2000. "Consumption Over the Life-Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 2345, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Constantinides,George & Duffie,Darrel, 1992.
"Asset pricing with heterogeneous consumers,"
Discussion Paper Serie A
381, University of Bonn, Germany.
- Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., .
"Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy,"
GSIA Working Papers
1997-37, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
- Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith & Jr., 1998. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 867-896, October.
- Krusell, P & Smith Jr, A-A, 1995. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomic," RCER Working Papers 399, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Stephen P. Zeldes, 1989. "Optimal Consumption with Stochastic Income: Deviations from Certainty Equivalence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 275-298.
- Jonathan A. Parker & Bruce Preston, 2005.
"Precautionary Saving and Consumption Fluctuations,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1119-1143, September.
- Jonathan Parker & Bruce Preston, 2002. "Precautionary Saving and Consumption Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 9196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jonathan A. Parker & Bruce Preston, 2004. "Precautionary Saving and Consumption Fluctuations," Working Papers 140, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics.
- Christopher D. Carroll, 1997. "Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 1-55.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2737. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.