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Precautionary Savings of Agents with Heterogeneous Risk Aversion

  • Michele Limosani
  • Emanuele Millemaci

This paper focuses on the estimation of the importance of the precautionary motive in the wealth accumulation decision. We use a micro dataset containing information on wealth, a subjective measure of income uncertainty and subjective indicators of risk aversion. The latter makes us possible to account for the fact that more risk averse individuals may select themselves into less risky occupations and, therefore, bias results. Restricting our analysis on male employees heads of households living with partner and children, we find that only a small share of wealth is accumulated for the precautionary motive. Our findings suggest that the more risk averse individuals are those who hold less savings. When heterogeneous risk aversion is not taken into account, estimates do not seem to change significantly.

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Paper provided by Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels in its series EERI Research Paper Series with number EERI_RP_2012_20.

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Date of creation: 20 Nov 2012
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Handle: RePEc:eei:rpaper:eeri_rp_2012_20
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  1. Luigi Giamboni & Emanuele Millemaci & Robert J. Waldmann, 2013. "Evaluating how predictable errors in expected income affect consumption," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(28), pages 4004-4021, October.
  2. Limosani, Michele & Millemaci, Emanuele, 2011. "Evidence on excess sensitivity of consumption to predictable income growth," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 71-77, June.
  3. Luigi Guiso & Monica Paiella, 2007. "Risk Aversion, Wealth, and Background Risk," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/47, European University Institute.
  4. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Working Papers 834, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  5. Mark Kazarosian, 1997. "Precautionary Savings-A Panel Study," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(2), pages 241-247, May.
  6. Frank M. Fossen & Davud Rostam-Afschar, 2009. "Precautionary and Entrepreneurial Saving: New Evidence from German Households," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 920, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  7. Kapteyn, A. & Kleinjans, K. & van Soest, A.H.O., 2008. "Intertemporal Consumption with Directly Measured Welfare Functions and Subjective Expectations," Discussion Paper 2008-85, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  8. Bartzsch, Nikolaus, 2006. "Precautionary saving and income uncertainty in Germany - new evidence from microdata," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2006,44, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  9. Ulrike Malmendier & Stefan Nagel, 2011. "Depression Babies: Do Macroeconomic Experiences Affect Risk Taking?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 373-416.
  10. Kuehlwein, Michael, 1991. "A test for the presence of precautionary saving," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 471-475, December.
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