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Fatalism and Savings

Author

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  • Stephen, Wu
  • Joel, Shapiro

Abstract

We examine the impact of fatalism, the belief that one has little or no control over future events, on the decision of whether or not to save. We develop a model that predicts that fatalism decreases savings for moderately risk averse individuals, increases savings for highly risk averse individuals, and otherwise has no impact. Furthermore, fatalism decreases effort in learning about savings and investment options. We use data from National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) and find general support for the theoretical predictions of the model. The results are robust to the inclusion of a number of additional control variables.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen, Wu & Joel, Shapiro, 2010. "Fatalism and Savings," MPRA Paper 24852, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:24852
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Choi, James J. & Laibson, David & Madrian, Brigitte C., 2004. "Plan Design and 401(K) Savings Outcomes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 57(2), pages 275-298, June.
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    10. Luigi Guiso & Monica Paiella, 2008. "Risk Aversion, Wealth, and Background Risk," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(6), pages 1109-1150, December.
    11. Raj Chetty, 2006. "A New Method of Estimating Risk Aversion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1821-1834, December.
    12. Annamaria Lusardi, 2000. "Explaining Why So Many Households Do Not Save," JCPR Working Papers 203, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    13. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Juergen Schupp & Gert Wagner, 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," Working Papers 2096, The Field Experiments Website.
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    16. Wu, Stephen, 2003. "Sickness and preventive medical behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 675-689, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ruiu, Gabriele, 2012. "Is fatalism a cultural belief? An empirical analysis on the origin of fatalistic tendencies," MPRA Paper 41705, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Camelia M. Kuhnen & Brian T. Melzer, 2017. "Non-Cognitive Abilities and Financial Delinquency: The Role of Self-Efficacy in Avoiding Financial Distress," NBER Working Papers 23028, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ludek Kouba & Hans Pitlik, 2014. "I wanna live my life: Locus of Control and Support for the Welfare State," MENDELU Working Papers in Business and Economics 2014-46, Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Business and Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fatalism; savings; risk aversion;

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General

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