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Buffer-Stock Saving and Households' Response to Income Shocks

Author

Listed:
  • Fella, Giulio

    () (Queen Mary, University of London)

  • Frache, Serafin

    () (Central Bank of Uruguay)

  • Koeniger, Winfried

    () (University of St. Gallen)

Abstract

We use the Italian Survey of Household Income and Wealth, a rather unique dataset with a long time dimension of panel information on consumption, income and wealth, to structurally estimate a buffer-stock saving model. We exploit the information contained in the joint dynamics of income, consumption and wealth to quantify the degree of insurance against income risk. The estimated model implies that Italian households can insure between 89 and 95 percent of a transitory and between 7 and 9 percent of a permanent income shock. Compared to existing empirical estimates for the same dataset, our findings suggest that Italian households do not have access to significant insurance beyond self-insurance.

Suggested Citation

  • Fella, Giulio & Frache, Serafin & Koeniger, Winfried, 2016. "Buffer-Stock Saving and Households' Response to Income Shocks," IZA Discussion Papers 10311, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10311
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carroll, Christopher D., 2009. "Precautionary saving and the marginal propensity to consume out of permanent income," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 780-790, September.
    2. Thomas Hintermaier & Winfried Koeniger, 2011. "On the Evolution of the US Consumer Wealth Distribution," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(2), pages 317-338, April.
    3. Orazio P. Attanasio & Nicola Pavoni, 2011. "Risk Sharing in Private Information Models With Asset Accumulation: Explaining the Excess Smoothness of Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(4), pages 1027-1068, July.
    4. Joseph G. Altonji & Aloysius Siow, 1987. "Testing the Response of Consumption to Income Changes with (Noisy) Panel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 293-328.
    5. Fatih Guvenen & Anthony A. Smith, 2014. "Inferring Labor Income Risk and Partial Insurance From Economic Choices," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82, pages 2085-2129, November.
    6. Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244.
    7. Cochrane, John H, 1991. "A Simple Test of Consumption Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 957-976, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    consumption; wealth; income shocks; incomplete markets; insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • 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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