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A Nonparametric Characterization of Income Uncertainty over the Lifecycle

In addition, we show that income uncertainty exhibits a U-shaped profile over the lifecyle, with young and old households facing greater uncertainty than middle-aged households. This pattern is particularly pronounced for near and intermediate forecast horizons. Our results are robust to various sample and model specifications and hold with respect to both labor and total family income. As opposed to a unit-root process, we find that our nonparametric estimates are better replicated by an income process with highly persistent, autoregressive shocks that have age and horizon dependent variances.

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File URL: http://www.pitt.edu/~jfeigen/nonparlifecycleunc.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 359.

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Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision: Jul 2008
Handle: RePEc:pit:wpaper:359
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  7. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1993. "Uninsured idiosyncratic risk and aggregate saving," Working Papers 502, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  9. Feigenbaum, James, 2008. "Information shocks and precautionary saving," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 3917-3938, December.
  10. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Dirk Krueger, 2002. "Consumption over the Life Cycle: Facts from Consumer Expenditure Survey Data," NBER Working Papers 9382, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Lillard, Lee A & Weiss, Yoram, 1979. "Components of Variation in Panel Earnings Data: American Scientists, 1960-70," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 437-54, March.
  12. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Dirk Krueger, 2003. "Consumption over the Life Cycle: Some Facts from Consumer Expenditure Survey Data," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000304, David K. Levine.
  13. Dynan, Karen E. & Elmendorf, Douglas W. & Sichel, Daniel E., 2006. "Can financial innovation help to explain the reduced volatility of economic activity?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 123-150, January.
  14. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman & Salvador Navarro, 2005. "Separating uncertainty from heterogeneity in life cycle earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 191-261, April.
  15. Luis M. Viceira, 2001. "Optimal Portfolio Choice for Long-Horizon Investors with Nontradable Labor Income," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(2), pages 433-470, 04.
  16. Fatih Guvenen, 2004. "Learning your Earning: Are Labor Income Shocks Really That Persistent?," 2004 Meeting Papers 177, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  17. Fatih Guvenen, 2006. "Learning your earning: are labor income shocks really very persistent?," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 145, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  18. James Feigenbaum & Geng Li, 2008. "Lifecycle dynamics of income uncertainty and consumption," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-27, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  19. Gabriel Perez-Quiros & Margaret M. McConnell, 2000. "Output Fluctuations in the United States: What Has Changed since the Early 1980's?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1464-1476, December.
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  21. James Feigenbaum, 2006. "Precautionary Saving Unfettered," Working Papers 227, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2006.
  22. Huggett, Mark, 1996. "Wealth distribution in life-cycle economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 469-494, December.
  23. Dynan Karen & Elmendorf Douglas & Sichel Daniel, 2012. "The Evolution of Household Income Volatility," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 1-42, December.
  24. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1999. "Has The U.S. Economy Become More Stable? A Bayesian Approach Based On A Markov-Switching Model Of The Business Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 608-616, November.
  25. Peter Gottschalk & Robert Moffitt, 1994. "The Growth of Earnings Instability in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 217-272.
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