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Risk Aversion, Intertemporal Substitution and Consumption: the CARA-LQ Problem

  • van der Ploeg, Frederick

This paper employs the recursive utility approach, based on quadratic felicity functions and constant absolute risk aversion, to distinguish between risk aversion and intertemporal substitution. Stochastic dynamic programming yields closed-loop linear decision rules for the CARA-LQ problem. Certainty equivalence no longer holds, but instead the decision maker plays a min-max strategy against nature. When applied to a life cycle consumption problem, one finds a rationale for precautionary saving and a larger sensitivity of changes in consumption to income innovations. It is also shown that consumers with Ricardian rationality can display a Keynesian propensity to consume out of a current tax cut.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 359.

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Date of creation: Jan 1990
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:359
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  1. David M Kreps & Evan L Porteus, 1978. "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Dynamic Choice Theory," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000009, David K. Levine.
  2. Zeldes, Stephen P, 1989. "Optimal Consumption with Stochastic Income: Deviations from Certainty Equivalence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 275-98, May.
  3. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834, June.
  4. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
  5. Campbell, John Y & Deaton, Angus, 1989. "Why Is Consumption So Smooth?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 357-73, July.
  6. repec:fth:harver:1421 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Flavin, Marjorie A, 1981. "The Adjustment of Consumption to Changing Expectations about Future Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 974-1009, October.
  8. Kimball, Miles S & Mankiw, N Gregory, 1989. "Precautionary Saving and the Timing of Taxes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 863-79, August.
  9. Kreps, David M & Porteus, Evan L, 1979. "Dynamic Choice Theory and Dynamic Programming," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 91-100, January.
  10. Campbell, John Y, 1987. "Does Saving Anticipate Declining Labor Income? An Alternative Test of the Permanent Income Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1249-73, November.
  11. Selden, Larry, 1979. "An OCE Analysis of the Effect of Uncertainty on Saving under Risk Preference Independence," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 73-82, January.
  12. Alberto Giovannini & Philippe Weil, 1989. "Risk Aversion and Intertemporal Substitution in the Capital Asset Pricing Model," NBER Working Papers 2824, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Sandmo, Agnar, 1970. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Saving Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 353-60, July.
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