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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/Email:


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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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, School of Economics and Management.
  4. 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.
  5. Agell, J. & Lommerud, K.E., 1990. "Union Egalitarianism As Income Insurance," Papers 1990a, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  6. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Peter Kooreman & Arie Kapteyn, 1990. "On the Empirical Implementation of Some Game Theoretic Models of Household Labor Supply," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 584-598.
  8. Eric M. Engen & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "Unemployment Insurance and Precautionary Saving," NBER Working Papers 5252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
  10. 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.
  11. Sandmo, Agnar, 1970. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Saving Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 353-60, July.
  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. Caballero, Ricardo J, 1991. "Earnings Uncertainty and Aggregate Wealth Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 859-71, September.
  14. 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.
  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. Skinner, Jonathan, 1988. "Risky income, life cycle consumption, and precautionary savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 237-255, September.
  17. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-364364 is not listed on IDEAS
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