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Aggregate Savings When Individual Income Varies

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Abstract

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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  • Floden, Martin, 2005. "Aggregate Savings When Individual Income Varies," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 591, Stockholm School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0591
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. 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 360-399, April.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Christopher I. & Yaron, Amir, 2004. "Consumption and risk sharing over the life cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 609-633, April.
    6. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
    7. Flodén, Martin, 2008. "A note on the accuracy of Markov-chain approximations to highly persistent AR(1) processes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 516-520, June.
    8. A. Sandmo, 1970. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Saving Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(3), pages 353-360.
    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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    Cited by:

    1. Bianca De Paoli & Pawel Zabczyk, 2013. "Cyclical Risk Aversion, Precautionary Saving, and Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 45(1), pages 1-36, February.
    2. Feigenbaum, James, 2011. "Precautionary saving or denied dissaving," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 1559-1572, July.
    3. Tiago Berriel & Rodrigo Abreu, 2015. "Long Term Debt and Credit Crisis in a Liquidity Constrained Economy," Textos para discussão 644, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    equilibrium interest rate; aggregate savings; precautionary saving; infinite horizon; general equilibrium;

    JEL classification:

    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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