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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Kapteyn, Arie & Kleinjans, Kristin J. & van Soest, Arthur, 2009. "Intertemporal consumption with directly measured welfare functions and subjective expectations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 425-437, October.
  4. Kuehlwein, Michael, 1991. "A test for the presence of precautionary saving," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 471-475, December.
  5. Nikolaus Bartzsch, 2007. "Precautionary Saving and Income Uncertainty in Germany: New Evidence from Microdata," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 21, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  6. Mark Kazarosian, 1997. "Precautionary Savings-A Panel Study," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(2), pages 241-247, May.
  7. Luigi Guiso & Monica Paiella, 2007. "Risk Aversion, Wealth, and Background Risk," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/47, European University Institute.
  8. Joshua Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," NBER Working Papers 8456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Frank M. Fossen & Davud Rostam-Afschar, 2009. "Precautionary and Entrepreneurial Saving: New Evidence from German Households," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 240, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  10. 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.
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