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

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  • Douglas W. Elmendorf

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas W. Elmendorf, 1996. "The effect of interest-rate changes on household saving and consumption: a survey," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-27, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:96-27
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Boeters & Christoph Bohringer & Thiess Buttner & Margit Kraus, 2010. "Economic effects of VAT reforms in Germany," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(17), pages 2165-2182.
    2. Junning Cai, 2003. "Fundamental Paper Wealth and Monetary Policy," Macroeconomics 0309001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Bernheim, B. Douglas, 2002. "Taxation and saving," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 18, pages 1173-1249 Elsevier.
    4. Junning Cai, 2003. "Asset Prices and Monetary Policy: Some Notes," Macroeconomics 0305006, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 13 May 2003.
    5. Ana María Iregui & Ligia Alba Melo B., 2009. "La transmisión de la política monetaria sobre el consumo en presencia de restricciones de liquidez," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 005254, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    6. Zsuzsa Kékesi & Balázs Kóczián & Balázs Sisak, 2015. "The role of household portfolio restructuring in financing of the general government," Financial and Economic Review, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary), vol. 14(1), pages 79-110.
    7. Emilio Fernandez-Corugedo, 2004. "Consumption Theory," Handbooks, Centre for Central Banking Studies, Bank of England, number 23, March.
    8. Gary V. Engelhardt & Anil Kumar, 2007. "Employer Matching and 401(k) Saving: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," NBER Chapters,in: Public Policy and Retirement, Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar (TAPES), pages 1920-1943 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. repec:wsi:qjfxxx:v:03:y:2013:i:01:n:s2010139213500018 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Sebastian Barnes & Garry Young, 2003. "The rise in US household debt: assessing its causes and sustainability," Bank of England working papers 206, Bank of England.
    11. Bruno Ducoudre, 2008. "Structure par terme des taux d’intérêt et anticipations de la politique économique," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/5221, Sciences Po.
    12. Árvai, Zsófia & Menczel, Péter, 2001. "A magyar háztartások megtakarításai 1995 és 2000 között
      [The savings of Hungarian households between 1995 and 2000]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(2), pages 93-113.
    13. Douglas W. Elmendorf & Louise M. Sheiner, 2000. "Should America Save for Its Old Age? Fiscal Policy, Population Aging, and National Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 57-74, Summer.
    14. repec:cbh:journl:v:14:y:2015:i:1:p:79-110 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Ventura, Gustavo, 1999. "Flat tax reform: A quantitative exploration," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 1425-1458, September.
    16. Power, Laura & Rider, Mark, 2002. "The effect of tax-based savings incentives on the self-employed," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 33-52, July.
    17. Jonathan Gruber, 2006. "A Tax-Based Estimate of the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution," NBER Working Papers 11945, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Douglas W. Elmendorf & Louise Sheiner, 2000. "Should America save for its old age? Population aging, national saving, and fiscal policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    19. Smith, Douglas, 2001. "International evidence on how income inequality and credit market imperfections affect private saving rates," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 103-127, February.
    20. Michael J. Keen & Christos Kotsogiannis, 2002. "Does Federalism Lead to Excessively High Taxes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 363-370, March.
    21. Roy Cromb & Emilio Fernandez-Corugedo, 2004. "Long-term interest rates, wealth and consumption," Bank of England working papers 243, Bank of England.

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