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On the concavity of the consumption function

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  • Christopher D. Carroll
  • Miles S. Kimball

Abstract

Zeldes (1989) Carroll (1992; 1993), and others have shown that optimal consumption behavior for consumers facing income uncertainty can be remarkably different from the certainty-equivalent case. Carroll (1992; 1993) observes that many of the differences can be attributed to the concavity of the consumption function under uncertainty, but he does not describe the conditions under which the consumption function will be concave. We show that if labor income is stochastic, the consumption function will be concave for many commonly used utility functions, and if both labor income and capital income are stochastic, the consumption function is concave for an even broader group of utility functions.
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Suggested Citation

  • Christopher D. Carroll & Miles S. Kimball, 1995. "On the concavity of the consumption function," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:95-10
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Neave, Edwin H., 1971. "Multiperiod consumption-investment decisions and risk preference," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 40-53, March.
    2. Stephen P. Zeldes, 1989. "Optimal Consumption with Stochastic Income: Deviations from Certainty Equivalence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 275-298.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Miles S. Kimball, 1990. "Precautionary Saving and the Marginal Propensity to Consume," NBER Working Papers 3403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Keywords

    Consumption (Economics);

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