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The rigidity of choice: lifetime savings under information-processing constraints

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  • Tutino, Antonella

Abstract

This paper studies the implications of information-processing limits on the consumption and savings behavior of households through time. It presents a dynamic model in which consumers rationally choose the size and scope of the information they want to process about their fi�nancial possibilities, constrained by a Shannon channel. The model predicts that people with higher degrees of risk aversion rationally choose higher information. This happens for precautionary reasons since, with fi�nite processing rate, risk averse consumers prefer to be well informed about their fi�nancial possibilities before implementing consumption plan. Moreover, numerical results show that consumers with processing capacity constraints have asymmetric responses to shocks, with negative shocks producing more persistent effects than positive ones. This asymmetry results into more savings. I show that the predictions of the model can be effectively used to study the impact of tax reforms on consumers spending. The results are qualitatively consistent with the evidence on tax rebates (2001, 2008).

Suggested Citation

  • Tutino, Antonella, 2008. "The rigidity of choice: lifetime savings under information-processing constraints," MPRA Paper 16744, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 24 Jul 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16744
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/16744/1/MPRA_paper_16744.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Filip Matêjka & Alisdair McKay, 2015. "Rational Inattention to Discrete Choices: A New Foundation for the Multinomial Logit Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(1), pages 272-298, January.
    2. Costain, James & Nakov, Anton, 2015. "Precautionary price stickiness," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 218-234.
    3. Tutino, Antonella, 2008. "Processing savings and work decisions through Shannon's channels," MPRA Paper 16746, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 26 Jul 2009.
    4. Pennesi, Daniele, 2015. "Costly information acquisition and the temporal resolution of uncertainty," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 115-122.
    5. Tutino, Antonella, 2011. "Rationally inattentive macroeconomic wedges," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 344-362, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumption; Rational Inattention; Dynamic programming;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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