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Precautionary Saving, Borrowing Constraints, and Fiscal Policy

Author

Listed:
  • Cheolbeom Park
  • Thomas Bishop

Abstract

Recent empirical studies suggest that the average marginal propensity to consume (MPC) has declined. This paper explains the declining trend of the MPC with a standard representative consumer model where borrowing constraints become more relaxed as suggested by data. With an increase in available credit, the consumer can easily spread out negative income shocks by credit card borrowing or consumer loans. As a result, consumers under relaxed borrowing constraints have lower MPCs than they had a generation ago. This result suggests that policy makers should now account for the less responsiveness of consumers to fiscal stimulus plans aiming at boosting consumpti

Suggested Citation

  • Cheolbeom Park & Thomas Bishop, 2004. "Precautionary Saving, Borrowing Constraints, and Fiscal Policy," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 706, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:feam04:706
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    File URL: http://repec.org/esFEAM04/up.22270.1080722079.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Saving, Fungibility, and Mental Accounts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 193-205, Winter.
    4. repec:rus:hseeco:95340 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. David B. Gross & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2002. "Do Liquidity Constraints and Interest Rates Matter for Consumer Behavior? Evidence from Credit Card Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 149-185.
    6. Carroll, Christopher D & Kimball, Miles S, 1996. "On the Concavity of the Consumption Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(4), pages 981-992, July.
    7. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 2002. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 47-89, January.
    8. Matthew D. Shapiro & Joel Slemrod, 2003. "Consumer Response to Tax Rebates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 381-396, March.
    9. Sydney Ludvigson, 1999. "Consumption And Credit: A Model Of Time-Varying Liquidity Constraints," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 434-447, August.
    10. Jonathan A. Parker, 1999. "The Reaction of Household Consumption to Predictable Changes in Social Security Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 959-973, September.
    11. repec:rus:hseeco:93730 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. 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.
    13. David Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 2000. "A Debt Puzzle," Documentos de Trabajo 80, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
    14. Shapiro, Matthew D & Slemrod, Joel, 1995. "Consumer Response to the Timing of Income: Evidence from a Change in Tax Withholding," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 274-283, March.
    15. Sydney C. Ludvigson & Alexander Michaelides, 2001. "Does Buffer-Stock Saving Explain the Smoothness and Excess Sensitivity of Consumption?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 631-647, June.
    16. Nicholas S. Souleles, 1999. "The Response of Household Consumption to Income Tax Refunds," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 947-958, September.
    17. Souleles, Nicholas S., 2002. "Consumer response to the Reagan tax cuts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 99-120, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Roberto Bande & Dolores Riveiro, 2013. "Private Saving Rates and Macroeconomic Uncertainty: Evidence from Spanish Regional Data," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 44(3), pages 323-349.
    2. Carlos Arriaga & Luis Miranda, 2009. "Risk and Efficiency in Credit Concession: A Case Study in Portugal," Managing Global Transitions, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper, vol. 7(3), pages 307-326.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Marginal Propensity to Consume; Borrowing Constraints; Precautionary Saving; Consumption Function; Effectiveness of Fiscal Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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