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Precautionary Saving and Altruism

  • Nordblom, K.

The potential importance of the precautionary motive for saving has been noted in many studies during the last decades. This paper examines the determination of precautionary saving when people have access to intra-family risk sharing. I show that, with uncertain future income, altruism per se can induce time consistent, however, not necessarily ex ante efficient, risk sharing between risk averse spouses. The more altruistic the couple is, the closer is the solution to the efficient one. Also welfare and savings effects from social insurance turn out to be sensitive to assumptions about family structure. For risk sharing couples, the introduction of a compulsory insurance scheme may have substantially smaller effects on welfare and precautionary savings.

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Paper provided by Uppsala - Working Paper Series in its series Papers with number 1997-19.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:uppaal:1997-19
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Web page:

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  1. Kooreman, P. & Kapteyn, A.J., 1989. "On the empirical implementation of some game theoretic models of household labor supply," Discussion Paper 1989-56, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Caballero, Ricardo J, 1991. "Earnings Uncertainty and Aggregate Wealth Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 859-71, September.
  3. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W, 1988. "Altruism and Time Consistency: The Economics of Fait Accompli," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1165-82, December.
  4. Konrad, K.A. & Lommerud, K.E., 2000. "The Bargaining Family Revisited," Norway; Department of Economics, University of Bergen 212, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
  5. Eric M. Engen & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "Unemployment Insurance and Precautionary Saving," NBER Working Papers 5252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-93, Nov.-Dec..
  7. Hayashi, Fumio & Altonji, Joseph & Kotlikoff, Laurence, 1996. "Risk-Sharing between and within Families," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 261-94, March.
  8. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
  9. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Avia Spivak, 1979. "The Family as an Incomplete Annuities Market," UCLA Economics Working Papers 151, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. Philip Merrigan & Michel Normandin, 1994. "Precautionary Saving Motives: An Assessment from U.K. Time Series of Cross-Sections," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 29, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  11. Agell, Jonas & Lommerud, Kjell Erik, 1992. "Union Egalitarianism as Income Insurance," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 59(235), pages 295-310, August.
  12. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:109:y:1994:i:1:p:111-47 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Sandmo, Agnar, 1970. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Saving Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 353-60, July.
  14. Skinner, Jonathan, 1988. "Risky income, life cycle consumption, and precautionary savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 237-255, September.
  15. Christopher D. Carroll, 1992. "How does future income affect current consumption?," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 126, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Jonathan Gruber & Julie Berry Cullen, 1996. "Spousal Labor Supply as Insurance: Does Unemployment Insurance Crowd Outthe Added Worker Effect?," NBER Working Papers 5608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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