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Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large

  • Miles S. Kimball

The theory of precautionary saving is shown in this paper to be isomorphic to the Arrow-Pratt theory of risk aversion, making possible the application of a large body of knowledge about risk aversion to precautionary saving, and more generally, to the theory of optimal choice under risk. In particular, a measure of the strength of precautionary saving motive analogous to the Arrow-Pratt measure of risk aversion is used to establish a number of new propositions about precautionary saving, and to give a new interpretation of the Oreze-Modigliani substitution effect.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2848.

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Date of creation: Feb 1989
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Econometrica, vo. 58, no. 1, January 1990.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2848
Note: ME
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  1. Stephen Zeldes, . "Optimal Consumption with Stochastic Income: Deviations from Certainty Equivalence," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 20-86, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  2. Merton, Robert C., 1971. "Optimum consumption and portfolio rules in a continuous-time model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 373-413, December.
  3. Pope, Rulon D & Chavas, Jean-Paul, 1985. "Producer Surplus and Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(5), pages 853-69, Supp..
  4. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Romer, David & Williams, Steve, 1981. "Risk Aversion with Random Initial Wealth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 911-20, June.
  5. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
  6. Nachman, David C., 1982. "Preservation of "more risk averse" under expectations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 361-368, December.
  7. Diamond, Peter A. & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1974. "Increases in risk and in risk aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 337-360, July.
  8. Dreze, Jacques H. & Modigliani, Franco, 1972. "Consumption decisions under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 308-335, December.
  9. Miles S. Kimball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1988. "Precautionary Saving and the Timing of Taxes," NBER Working Papers 2680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1971. "Increasing risk II: Its economic consequences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 66-84, March.
  11. Miles S. Kimball, 1990. "Precautionary Saving and the Marginal Propensity to Consume," NBER Working Papers 3403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Sandmo, Agnar, 1970. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Saving Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 353-60, July.
  13. Ross, Stephen A, 1981. "Some Stronger Measures of Risk Aversion in the Small and the Large with Applications," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 621-38, May.
  14. Pratt, John W & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1987. "Proper Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 143-54, January.
  15. Kimball, Miles S., 1989. "The effect of demand uncertainty on a precommitted monopoly price," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-5.
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