Precautionary savings and the wealth distribution with illiquid durables
We study the role an illiquid durable consumption good plays in determining the level of precautionary savings and the distribution of wealth in a standard Aiyagari model (i.e. a model with heterogeneous agents, idiosyncratic uncertainty, and borrowing constraints). Transactions costs induce an inaction region over which the durable stock and the associated user cost are not adjusted in response to changes in income, increasing, on average, the volatility of non-durable consumption. The volatility of total consumption is then a function of the share of the durable good in the utility function and the width of the inaction region. We are particularly interested in parameterizations which increase the precautionary motive for saving through an increase in "committed expenditure risk." We find, for an empirically relevant share of durable consumption and for all transaction costs below an upper threshold, that the level of precautionary savings is increasing in the transaction costs. Transaction costs have only a modest impact on the degree of wealth dispersion, as measured by the Gini index, as the associated increase in savings is close to linear in wealth. While we are unable to match the dispersion of wealth in the data, we increase the dispersion over a single asset model (Gini index of .71 for financial assets and .37 for total wealth) and we are able to match the relative dispersion of financial to durable assets, i.e. we find financial assets much more unequal than durable assets. We also match the ratio of housing wealth to total wealth for the median agent. We calibrate the model to data from the PSID, the CES, and the SCF.
|Date of creation:||2003|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 20th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20551|
Web page: http://www.federalreserve.gov/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/ifdp/order.htm|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Krusell, P & Smith Jr, A-A, 1995.
"Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomic,"
RCER Working Papers
399, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith & Jr., 1998. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 867-896, October.
- Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., . "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," GSIA Working Papers 1997-37, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
- Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 2003.
"The equity premium in retrospect,"
Handbook of the Economics of Finance,
in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 889-938
- Schechtman, Jack & Escudero, Vera L. S., 1977. "Some results on "an income fluctuation problem"," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 151-166, December.
- 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.
- Chatterjee, Satyajit, 1994. "Transitional dynamics and the distribution of wealth in a neoclassical growth model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 97-119, May.
- Karen E. Dynan, 1993. "How prudent are consumers?," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 135, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994.
"Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
- Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Prescott, Edward C, 1992. "Stochastic Monotonicity and Stationary Distributions for Dynamic Economies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1387-406, November.
- Carroll, Christopher D. & Samwick, Andrew A., 1997.
"The nature of precautionary wealth,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 41-71, September.
- Christopher D. Carroll & Andrew A. Samwick, 1998.
"How Important Is Precautionary Saving?,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 410-419, August.
- Díaz, Antonia & Ríos Rull, José Víctor & Pijoan Mas, Josep, 2001.
"Habit formation: implications for the wealth distribution,"
UC3M Working papers. Economics
we015114, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
- Diaz, Antonia & Pijoan-Mas, Josep & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 2003. "Precautionary savings and wealth distribution under habit formation preferences," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1257-1291, September.
- Dynan, Karen E, 1993. "How Prudent Are Consumers?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 1104-13, December.
- Hanno Lustig & Yi-Li Chien, 2005.
"The Market Price of Aggregate Risk and the Wealth Distribution,"
NBER Working Papers
11132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- YiLi Chien & Hanno Lustig, 2010. "The Market Price of Aggregate Risk and the Wealth Distribution," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(4), pages 1596-1650, April.
- Hanno Lustig, 2001. "The Market Price of Aggregate Risk and the Wealth Distribution," Finance 0111004, EconWPA, revised 16 Nov 2001.
- Hanno Lustig, 2004. "The Market Price of Aggregate Risk and the Wealth Distribution," UCLA Economics Online Papers 299, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Hanno Lustig & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2002. "Housing Collateral, Consumption Insurance and Risk Premia," Macroeconomics 0211008, EconWPA.
- Hubbard, R. Glenn & Skinner, Jonathan & Zeldes, Stephen P., 1994.
"The importance of precautionary motives in explaining individual and aggregate saving,"
Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy,
Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 59-125, June.
- R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 1993. "The Importance of Precautionary Motives in Explaining Individual and Aggregate Saving," NBER Working Papers 4516, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Santiago Budria Rodriguez & Javier Diaz-Gimenez & Vincenzo Quadrini & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2002. "Updated facts on the U.S. distributions of earnings, income, and wealth," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 2-35.
- Meghir, Costas & Weber, Guglielmo, 1996. "Intertemporal Nonseparability or Borrowing Restrictions? A Disaggregate Analysis Using a U.S. Consumption Panel," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1151-81, September.
- Ana Castaneda & Javier Diaz-Gimenez & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2003. "Accounting for the U.S. Earnings and Wealth Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 818-857, August.
- Robert F. Martin, 2003. "Consumption, durable goods, and transaction costs," International Finance Discussion Papers 756, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Huggett, Mark, 1997. "The one-sector growth model with idiosyncratic shocks: Steady states and dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 385-403, August.
- Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
- Javier Díaz-Giménez & Vincenzo Quadrini & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 1997. "Dimensions of inequality: facts on the U.S. distributions of earnings, income, and wealth," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 3-21.
- Christopher D. Carroll & Andrew A. Samwick, 1993. "How important is precautionary saving?," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 145, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Carroll, Christopher D. & Weil, David N., 1994.
"Saving and growth: a reinterpretation,"
Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy,
Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 133-192, June.
- Vincenzo Quadrini & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 1997. "Understanding the U.S. distribution of wealth," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 22-36.
- Erik Hurst, 2004. "Grasshoppers, Ants and Pre-Retirement Wealth: A Test of Permanent Income Consumers," Working Papers wp088, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:773. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marlene Vikor)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.