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The Economics of Saving

  • Mervyn A. King
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    This paper analyses recent contributions to the theory of household saving and examines empirical evidence on the subject. It focuses on (a) the derivation and estimation of first-order conditions for a consumer's optimum lfe-cycle consumption plan, (b) the conditions under which such conditions may be used to derive an aggregate consumption function, (c) the relationship between constraints in labor and cyclical markets and the notion of a "representive consumer" in macroeconomic models, and (d) the extent to which existing empirical evidence lends support to a life-cycle model of consumer behavior. Further empirical tests are proposed.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w1247.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1247.

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    Date of creation: Dec 1983
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    Publication status: published as in "Frontiers of Economics," Arrow, Kenneth and S. Honkapohja (eds.) Oxford and New York: Blackwell, 1985.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1247
    Note: PE ME
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    1. Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1981. "National Savings, Economic Welfare, and the Structure of Taxation," NBER Working Papers 0729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Oliver D. Hart, 1983. "Optimal Labour Contracts under Asymmetric Information: An Introduction," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(1), pages 3-35.
    3. Mirer, Thad W, 1979. "The Wealth-Age Relation among the Aged," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 435-43, June.
    4. Ben S. Bernanke, 1981. "Permanent Income, Liquidity, and Expenditure on Automobiles: Evidence from Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 0756, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Atkinson, A B & Sandmo, A, 1980. "Welfare Implications of the Taxation of Savings," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(359), pages 529-49, September.
    6. George Psacharopoulos & Richard Layard, 1979. "Human Capital and Earnings: British Evidence and a Critique," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(3), pages 485-503.
    7. Menahem E. Yaari, 1965. "Uncertain Lifetime, Life Insurance, and the Theory of the Consumer," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 137-150.
    8. Lawrence Kotlikoff & Avia Spivak & Lawrence H. Summers, 1980. "The Adequacy of Savings," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 569, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    9. James J. Heckman & Thomas E. Macurdy, 1980. "A Life Cycle Model of Female Labour Supply," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 47-74.
    10. Blinder, Alan S, 1975. "Distribution Effects and the Aggregate Consumption Function," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(3), pages 447-75, June.
    11. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    12. MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Setting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1059-85, December.
    13. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
    14. Milton Friedman, 1957. "Introduction to "A Theory of the Consumption Function"," NBER Chapters, in: A Theory of the Consumption Function, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. A. Sandmo, 1970. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Saving Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(3), pages 353-360.
    16. Hurd, Michael D, 1971. "Changes in Wage Rates between 1959 and 1967," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 53(2), pages 189-99, May.
    17. Thomas J. Sargent, 1977. "Rational expectations, econometric exogeneity and consumption," Staff Report 25, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    18. Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 1980. "Formulating and estimating dynamic linear rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 7-46, May.
    19. Dolde, Walter, 1978. "Capital Markets and the Short Run Behavior of Life Cycle Savers," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 33(2), pages 413-28, May.
    20. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1982. "Generalized Instrumental Variables Estimation of Nonlinear Rational Expectations Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1269-86, September.
    21. Shorrocks, A F, 1975. "The Age-Wealth Relationship: A Cross-Section and Cohort Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 57(2), pages 155-63, May.
    22. Flavin, Marjorie A, 1981. "The Adjustment of Consumption to Changing Expectations about Future Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 974-1009, October.
    23. Levhari, David & Mirman, Leonard J, 1977. "Savings and Consumption with an Uncertain Horizon," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(2), pages 265-81, April.
    24. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1.
    25. Hausman, Jerry A, 1981. "Exact Consumer's Surplus and Deadweight Loss," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 662-76, September.
    26. Mervyn A. King, 1980. "Savings and Taxation," NBER Working Papers 0428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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