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A Tractable Model of Buffer Stock Saving

  • Christopher D. Carroll
  • Patrick Toche

We present a tractable model of the effects of nonfinancial risk on intertemporal choice. Our purpose is to provide a simple framework that can be adopted in fields like representative-agent macroeconomics, corporate finance, or political economy, where most modelers have chosen not to incorporate serious nonfinancial risk because available methods were too complex to yield transparent insights. Our model produces an intuitive analytical formula for target assets, and we show how to analyze transition dynamics using a familiar Ramsey-style phase diagram. Despite its starkness, our model captures most of the key implications of nonfinancial risk for intertemporal choice.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15265.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15265
Note: AP
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  1. Jonathan A. Parker & Bruce Preston, 2004. "Precautionary Saving and Consumption Fluctuations," Working Papers 140, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
  2. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1, 07.
  3. Robert E. Hall, 1981. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," NBER Working Papers 0720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1996. "The Financial Accelerator and the Flight to Quality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 1-15, February.
  5. Christopher D. Carroll & Miles S. Kimball, 1995. "On the Concavity of the Consumption Function," Macroeconomics 9503003, EconWPA.
  6. Cagetti, Marco, 2003. "Wealth Accumulation over the Life Cycle and Precautionary Savings," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(3), pages 339-53, July.
  7. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 2002. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 47-89, January.
  8. Jonathan B. Berk & Richard Stanton & Josef Zechner, 2010. "Human Capital, Bankruptcy, and Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(3), pages 891-926, 06.
  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. 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.
  11. Robert B. Barsky & Miles S. Kimball & F. Thomas Juster & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1995. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 5213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Merton, Robert C, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection under Uncertainty: The Continuous-Time Case," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 247-57, August.
  13. Samuelson, Paul A, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection by Dynamic Stochastic Programming," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 239-46, August.
  14. Toche, Patrick, 2005. "A tractable model of precautionary saving in continuous time," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 267-272, May.
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