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Precautionary Saving and the Marginal Propensity to Consume out of Permanent Income

  • Christopher D. Carroll

The budget constraint requires that, eventually, consumption must adjust fully to any permanent shock to income. Intuition suggests that, knowing this, optimizing agents will fully adjust their spending immediately upon experiencing a permanent shock. However, this paper shows that if consumers are impatient and are subject to transitory as well as permanent shocks, the optimal marginal propensity to consume out of permanent shocks (the MPCP) is strictly less than 1, because buffer stock savers have a target wealth-to-permanent-income ratio; a positive shock to permanent income moves the ratio below its target, temporarily boosting saving.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8233.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8233.

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Date of creation: Apr 2001
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Publication status: published as Christopher D. Carroll, 2001. "Mathematica code for Precautionary Saving and the Marginal Propensity to Consume out of Permanent Income," QM&RBC Codes 39, Quantitative Macroeconomics & Real Business Cycles.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8233
Note: ME
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  1. Caballero, R.J., 1988. "Consumption Puzzles And Precautionary Savings," Discussion Papers 1988_05, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  2. Carroll, Christopher D. & Samwick, Andrew A., 1997. "The nature of precautionary wealth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 41-71, September.
  3. Nicholas S. Souleles & Jonathan A. Parker & David S. Johnson, 2006. "Household Expenditure and the Income Tax Rebates of 2001," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1589-1610, December.
  4. John M. Abowd & David Card, 1986. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," NBER Working Papers 1832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Christopher D. Carroll & Miles S. Kimball, 1995. "On the Concavity of the Consumption Function," Macroeconomics 9503003, EconWPA.
  6. Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 1999. "Intertemporal Choice and Consumption Mobility," CSEF Working Papers 23, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  7. Deaton, Angus, 1991. "Saving and Liquidity Constraints," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1221-48, September.
  8. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
  9. MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
  10. Christopher D. Carroll & Miles S. Kimball, 2001. "Liquidity Constraints and Precautionary Saving," NBER Working Papers 8496, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Christopher D. Carroll, 1992. "The Buffer-Stock Theory of Saving: Some Macroeconomic Evidence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 61-156.
  12. Christopher Carroll, 2004. "Theoretical Foundations of Buffer Stock Saving," NBER Working Papers 10867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Christopher D. Carroll, 2001. "A Theory of the Consumption Function, With and Without Liquidity Constraints (Expanded Version)," NBER Working Papers 8387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Miles S. Kimball, 1990. "Precautionary Saving and the Marginal Propensity to Consume," NBER Working Papers 3403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Christopher I. & Yaron, Amir, 2004. "Consumption and risk sharing over the life cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 609-633, April.
  16. Blundell, Richard & Low, Hamish & Preston, Ian, 2011. "Decomposing Changes in Income Risk Using Consumption Data," IZA Discussion Papers 6125, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1, August.
  18. Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244, March.
  19. 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.
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