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Saving and growth with habit formation

  • Christopher D. Carroll
  • Jody Overland
  • David N. Weil

Saving and growth are strongly positively correlated across countries. Recent empirical evidence suggests that this correlation holds largely because high growth leads to high saving, not the other way around. This evidence is difficult to reconcile with standard growth models, since forward-looking consumers with standard utility should save less in a fast-growing economy because they know they will be richer in the future than they are today. We show that if utility depends partly on how consumption compares to a "habit stock" determined by past consumption, an otherwise-standard growth model can imply that increases in growth can cause increased saving.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 95-42.

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Date of creation: 1995
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:95-42
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  1. Carroll, Christopher D & Rhee, Byung-Kun & Rhee, Changyong, 1994. "Are There Cultural Effects on Saving? Some Cross-Sectional Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 685-99, August.
  2. Angus S. Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1994. "Saving, Growth, and Aging in Taiwan," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in the Economics of Aging, pages 331-362 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumption and Its Implications for Monetary-Policy Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 367-390, June.
  4. Reuven Glick & Kenneth Rogoff, 1993. "Global Versus Country-Specific Productivity Shocks and the Current Acocount," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 31, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  5. Christopher D. Carroll & Lawrence H. Summers, 1991. "Consumption Growth Parallels Income Growth: Some New Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: National Saving and Economic Performance, pages 305-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Abel, A.B., 1990. "Asset Prices Under Habit Formation And Catching Up With The Joneses," Weiss Center Working Papers 1-90, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
  7. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross & DEC, 1994. "Capital fundamentalism, economic development, and economic growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1285, The World Bank.
  8. Mulligan, Casey B & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1993. "Transitional Dynamics in Two-Sector Models of Endogenous Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 739-73, August.
  9. Sydney Ludvigson & Christina H. Paxson, 2001. "Approximation Bias In Linearized Euler Equations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 242-256, May.
  10. Jermann, Urban J., 1998. "Asset pricing in production economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 257-275, April.
  11. Christopher D. Carroll & David N. Weil, 1993. "Saving and Growth: A Reinterpretation," NBER Working Papers 4470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Loayza, N. & Schmidt, K. & Serven, L., 1999. "What Drives Private Saving Across the World?," Papers 47, Cambridge - Risk, Information & Quantity Signals.
  13. Sebastian Edwards, 1995. "Why are Saving Rates so Different Across Countries?: An International Comparative Analysis," NBER Working Papers 5097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
  15. Christopher D. Carroll & Jody Overland & David N. Weil, 1997. "Comparison Utility in a Growth Model," NBER Working Papers 6138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1991. "A sensitivity analysis of cross-country growth regressions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 609, The World Bank.
  17. Orazio P. Attanasio & Lucio Picci & Antonello E. Scorcu, 2000. "Saving, Growth, and Investment: A Macroeconomic Analysis Using a Panel of Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 182-211, May.
  18. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer & Michael W. Klein, 2006. "Risky Habits: on Risk Sharing, Habit Formation, and the Interpretation of International Consumption Correlations," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(4), pages 722-740, 09.
  19. 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 274-83, March.
  20. Karen E. Dynan, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumer Preferences: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 391-406, June.
  21. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Martin Feldstein & Charles Horioka, 1979. "Domestic Savings and International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 0310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Easterly, William & Kremer, Michael & Pritchett, Lant & Summers, Lawrence H., 1993. "Good policy or good luck?: Country growth performance and temporary shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 459-483, December.
  24. van de Stadt, Huib & Kapteyn, Arie & van de Geer, Sara, 1985. "The Relativity of Utility: Evidence from Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(2), pages 179-87, May.
  25. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1979. "Why do Koreans save so little?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 343-362, August.
  26. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  27. Christopher D. Carroll, 1997. "Death to the Log-Linearized Consumption Euler Equation! (And Very Poor Health to the Second-Order Approximation)," NBER Working Papers 6298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Ryder, Harl E, Jr & Heal, Geoffrey M, 1973. "Optimum Growth with Intertemporally Dependent Preferences," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 1-33, January.
  30. B. Douglas Bernheim & John B. Shoven, 1991. "National Saving and Economic Performance," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bern91-2, October.
  31. Paxson, Christina, 1996. "Saving and growth: Evidence from micro data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 255-288, February.
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