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Precautionary Saving and Altruism

  • Nordblom, Katarina

    (Department of Economics)

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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File URL: http://www.nek.uu.se/pdf/1997wp19.pdf
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Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 1997:19.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 28 Aug 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:1997_019
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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  1. Kooreman, P. & Kapteyn, A.J., 1990. "On the empirical implementation of some game theoretic models of household labor supply," Other publications TiSEM 4c9bb2ae-f1e6-4924-8cae-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  2. Jonathan S. Skinner, 1987. "Risky Income, Life Cycle Consumption, and Precautionary Savings," NBER Working Papers 2336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Hayashi, Fumio & Altonji, Joseph & Kotlikoff, Laurence, 1996. "Risk-Sharing between and within Families," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 261-94, March.
  5. Kai A. Konrad & Kjell Erik Lommerud, 2000. "The bargaining family revisited," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(2), pages 471-487, May.
  6. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Spivak, Avia, 1981. "The Family as an Incomplete Annuities Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 372-91, April.
  7. Eric M. Engen & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "Unemployment Insurance and Precautionary Saving," NBER Working Papers 5252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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..
  9. Merrigan, Philip & Normandin, Michel, 1996. "Precautionary Saving Motives: An Assessment from UK Time Series of Cross-Sections," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1193-1208, September.
  10. Agell, J. & Lommerud, K.E., 1990. "Union Egalitarianism As Income Insurance," Papers 1990a, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. A. Sandmo, 1970. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Saving Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(3), pages 353-360.
  14. Caballero, Ricardo J, 1991. "Earnings Uncertainty and Aggregate Wealth Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 859-71, September.
  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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