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The Volatility Trap; Precautionary Saving, Investment, and Aggregate Risk

  • Reda Cherif
  • Fuad Hasanov

We study the effects of permanent and temporary income shocks on precautionary saving and investment in a "store-or-sow" model of growth. High volatility of permanent shocks results in high precautionary saving in the safe asset and low investment, or a "volatility trap." Namely, big savers invest relatively little. In contrast, low volatility of permanent shocks leads to low precautionary saving and high or low investment, depending on the volatility of temporary shocks. Empirical evidence shows a nonlinear relationship between investment and saving and that investment is a hump-shaped function of the volatility of permanent shocks, as predicted by the model.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 12/134.

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Length: 21
Date of creation: 01 May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/134
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  1. Aghion, Philippe & Bacchetta, Philippe & Rancière, Romain & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2006. "Exchange Rate Volatility and Productivity Growth: The Role of Financial Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 5629, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Aguiar, Mark & Gopinath, Gita, 2007. "Emerging Market Business Cycles: The Cycle is the Trend," Scholarly Articles 11988098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Durdu, Ceyhun Bora & Mendoza, Enrique G. & Terrones, Marco E., 2009. "Precautionary demand for foreign assets in Sudden Stop economies: An assessment of the New Mercantilism," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 194-209, July.
  4. Borensztein, Eduardo & Jeanne, Olivier & Sandri, Damiano, 2013. "Macro-hedging for commodity exporters," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 105-116.
  5. Luca Antonio Ricci & Marcos Chamon & Yuanyan Sophia Zhang, 2011. "Country Insurance Using Financial Instruments," IMF Working Papers 11/169, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Douglas Dacy & Fuad Hasanov, 2011. "A Finance Approach To Estimating Consumption Parameters," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(1), pages 122-154, 01.
  7. Park, Donghyun & Shin, Kwanho, 2009. "Saving, Investment, and Current Account Surplus in Developing Asia," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 158, Asian Development Bank.
  8. Martin Feldstein & Charles Horioka, 1979. "Domestic Savings and International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 0310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Francois Gourio, 2009. "Disaster risk and business cycles," 2009 Meeting Papers 1176, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Reda Cherif & Fuad Hasanov, 2012. "Oil Exporters' Dilemma; How Much to Save and How Much to Invest," IMF Working Papers 12/4, International Monetary Fund.
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