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Effects of Stock Market Fluctuations on the Adequacy of Retirement Wealth Accumulation

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  • Eric M. Engen

    () (American Enterprise Institute)

  • William G. Gale

    () (The Brookings Institution)

  • Cori E. Uccello

    () (Urban Institute)

Abstract

This paper examines the relation between fluctuations in the aggregate value of equities and the adequacy of households’ saving for retirement. We find that many and perhaps most households appear to be saving adequate amounts for retirement, but almost no link between stock values and the adequacy of retirement saving. Historical variation in equity values and ownership correlates poorly with historical variation in the adequacy of saving. Even a simulated 40 percent decline in stocks has little effect on the adequacy of saving. The results occur because equities are concentrated among households with significant amounts of other wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric M. Engen & William G. Gale & Cori E. Uccello, 2004. "Effects of Stock Market Fluctuations on the Adequacy of Retirement Wealth Accumulation," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College 2004-16, Center for Retirement Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:crr:crrwps:2004-16
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    File URL: http://crr.bc.edu/working-papers/effects-of-stock-market-fluctuations-on-the-adequacy-of-retirement-wealth-accumulation/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christopher D Carroll, 1997. "Why Do the Rich Save So Much?," Economics Working Paper Archive 388, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
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    7. Karen E. Dynan & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2004. "Do the Rich Save More?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 397-444, April.
    8. Christopher D. Carroll, 1992. "The Buffer-Stock Theory of Saving: Some Macroeconomic Evidence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 61-156.
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    Cited by:

    1. Courtney C. Coile & Phillip B. Levine, 2006. "Bulls, Bears, and Retirement Behavior," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 59(3), pages 408-429, April.
    2. Love, David A. & Palumbo, Michael G. & Smith, Paul A., 2009. "The trajectory of wealth in retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 191-208, February.
    3. Davies, James B. & Yu, Xiaoyu, 2013. "Impacts of Cyclical Downturns on the Third Pillar of the RIS and Policy Responses," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2013-20, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 29 Apr 2013.
    4. James Banks & Rowena Crawford & Thomas Crossley & Carl Emmerson, 2012. "The effect of the financial crisis on older households in England," IFS Working Papers W12/09, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    retirement; saving; stocks; equities;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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