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Aggregate Savings When Individual Income Varies

This paper examines aggregate savings in a general equilibrium model where infinitely lived households face volatile (and possibly uncertain) income paths, hold a risk-free asset, and face a liquidity constraint. I first show that the equilibrium capital stock in an economy without uncertainty, but where individual income varies, can be larger than in an economy where each household's income is constant. When income is stochastic, the equilibrium capital stock is always larger than when income is constant. This additional capital accumulation has sometimes been interpreted as precautionary savings, but I demonstrate that it is mostly generated by permanent-income motives.

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File URL: http://swopec.hhs.se/hastef/papers/hastef0591.pdf
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Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 591.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: 23 Mar 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0591
Contact details of provider: Postal: The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
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  1. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
  2. Floden, Martin, 2007. "A Note on the Accuracy of Markov-Chain Approximations to Highly Persistent AR(1)-Processes," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 656, Stockholm School of Economics.
  3. Huggett, Mark & Ospina, Sandra, 2001. "Aggregate precautionary savings: when is the third derivative irrelevant?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 373-396, October.
  4. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Chris & Yaron, Amir, 2002. "Consumption and Risk Sharing Over the Life Cycle," Seminar Papers 702, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  5. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-84, August.
  6. Hubbard, R Glenn & Skinner, Jonathan & Zeldes, Stephen P, 1995. "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 360-99, April.
  7. Sandmo, Agnar, 1970. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Saving Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 353-60, July.
  8. Gary Chamberlain & Charles A. Wilson, 2000. "Optimal Intertemporal Consumption Under Uncertainty," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(3), pages 365-395, July.
  9. 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.
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