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The effect of interest-rate changes on household saving and consumption: a survey

  • Douglas W. Elmendorf

Direct estimates of the interest elasticity of saving suffer from several serious problems. As an alternative, this survey uses an indirect approach that combines models of individual behavior with estimates of certain features of individuals' preferences. The paper examines the effect of interest-rate changes on the consumption and saving of people who follow the lifecycle model, who plan to leave bequests, who save to reach a fixed target, and who have short planning horizons. The models that likely describe the behavior of the people who account for most of aggregate saving imply positive interest elasticities of 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 96-27.

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Date of creation: 1996
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:96-27
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