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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
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UPPSALA UNIVERSITY, DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS, S-751 20 UPPSALA SWEDEN.

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  1. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Avia Spivak, 1979. "The Family as an Incomplete Annuities Market," UCLA Economics Working Papers 151, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. Agell, J. & Lommerud, K.E., 1990. "Union Egalitarianism As Income Insurance," Papers 1990a, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  4. 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.
  5. Jonathan S. Skinner, 1987. "Risky Income, Life Cycle Consumption, and Precautionary Savings," NBER Working Papers 2336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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..
  8. Caballero, Ricardo J, 1991. "Earnings Uncertainty and Aggregate Wealth Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 859-71, September.
  9. A. Sandmo, 1970. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Saving Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(3), pages 353-360.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Hayashi, Fumio & Altonji, Joseph & Kotlikoff, Laurence, 1996. "Risk-Sharing between and within Families," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 261-94, March.
  13. 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.
  14. Eric M. Engen & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "Unemployment Insurance and Precautionary Saving," NBER Working Papers 5252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Christopher D. Carroll, 1994. "How does Future Income Affect Current Consumption?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 111-147.
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