IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Precautionary Saving over the Business Cycle

  • Xavier Ragot

    (Banque de France & PSE)

  • Edouard Challe

    (Ecole Polytechnique & Banque de France)

In this paper, we present a tractable model of time-varying precautionary saving behaviour due to changes in uninsured unemployment risk. In our model, agents facing incomplete markets and borrowing constraints respond to changes in labour market conditions by altering their buffer stock of precautionary wealth, with a direct impact on current consumption. The model is calibrated to match the evidence on the share of permanent income consumers and the distribution of wealth in the U.S. economy. We find a large, but relatively short-lived, impact of the precautionary motive on aggregate consumption in response to a typical labour market shock. The implications of the precautionary motive for consumption Euler equation tests are also discussed.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2011 Meeting Papers with number 517.

in new window

Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:517
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Steven J. Davis & R. Jason Faberman & John C. Haltiwanger, 2010. "The Establishment-Level Behavior of Vacancies and Hiring," NBER Working Papers 16265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith & Jr., 1998. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 867-896, October.
  3. Heathcote, Jonathan & Perri, Fabrizio & Violante, Giovanni L, 2009. "Unequal We Stand: An Empirical Analysis of Economic Inequality in the United States, 1967-2006," CEPR Discussion Papers 7538, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Edouard Challe & François Le Grand & Xavier Ragot, 2013. "Incomplete markets, liquidation risk, and the term structure of interest rates," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" halshs-00944920, HAL.
  5. Veronica Guerrieri & Guido Lorenzoni, 2009. "Liquidity and Trading Dynamics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(6), pages 1751-1790, November.
  6. Constantinides,George & Duffie,Darrel, 1992. "Asset pricing with heterogeneous consumers," Discussion Paper Serie A 381, University of Bonn, Germany.
  7. Xavier Ragot & Edouard Challe, 2011. "Fiscal Policy in a Tractable Liquidity-Constrained Economy," Post-Print halshs-00654650, HAL.
  8. Nobuhiro Kiyotaki & John Moore, 1995. "Credit Cycles," NBER Working Papers 5083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Carroll, Christopher D. & Toche, Patrick, 2009. "A tractable model of buffer stock saving," CFS Working Paper Series 2009/14, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  10. James S. Costain & Michael Reiter, 2003. "Business Cycles, Unemployment Insurance, and the Calibration of Matching Models," CESifo Working Paper Series 1008, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Hamish Low & Costas Meghir & Luigi Pistaferri, 2009. "Wage Risk and Employment Risk over the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 14901, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 173-234, 04.
  13. Jonathan A. Parker & Bruce Preston, 2004. "Precautionary Saving and Consumption Fluctuations," Working Papers 140, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
  14. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  15. Per Krusell & Toshihiko Mukoyama & Ayseg ul Sahin, 2007. "Labor-Market Matching with Precautionary Savings and Aggregate Fluctuations," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001783, UCLA Department of Economics.
  16. Mengus , Eric & Pancrazi , Roberto, 2015. "The Inequality Accelerator," Les Cahiers de Recherche 1108, HEC Paris.
  17. Becker, Robert A, 1980. "On the Long-Run Steady State in a Simple Dynamic Model of Equilibrium with Heterogeneous Households," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 375-82, September.
  18. Morten O. Ravn & Karel Mertens, 2009. "Understanding the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated Tax Policy shocks," 2009 Meeting Papers 480, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  19. Engen, Eric M. & Gruber, Jonathan, 2001. "Unemployment insurance and precautionary saving," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 545-579, June.
  20. Jonathan Heathcote, 2005. "Fiscal Policy with Heterogeneous Agents and Incomplete Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 161-188.
  21. Alisdair McKay & Ricardo Reis, 2013. "The Role of Automatic Stabilizers in the U.S. Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 19000, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  23. Becker, Robert A. & Foias, Ciprian, 1987. "A characterization of Ramsey equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 173-184, February.
  24. N. Gregory Mankiw, 2000. "The Savers-Spenders Theory of Fiscal Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 120-125, May.
  25. Flacco, Paul R & Parker, Randall E, 1992. "Income Uncertainty and the Onset of the Great Depression," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(1), pages 154-71, January.
  26. Cochrane, John H, 1991. "A Simple Test of Consumption Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 957-76, October.
  27. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income, and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Makoto Nakajima, 2010. "Business cycles in the equilibrium model of labor market search and self-insurance," Working Papers 10-24, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  29. Matteo Iacoviello, 2005. "House Prices, Borrowing Constraints, and Monetary Policy in the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 739-764, June.
  30. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
  31. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
  32. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00587679 is not listed on IDEAS
  33. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-32, March.
  34. Robert E. Hall, 2009. "Reconciling Cyclical Movements in the Marginal Value of Time and the Marginal Product of Labor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(2), pages 281-323, 04.
  35. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1993. "Uninsured idiosyncratic risk and aggregate saving," Working Papers 502, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  36. Morten O. Ravn & Vincent Sterk, 2012. "Job Uncertainty and Deep Recessions," Discussion Papers 1501, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM), revised Dec 2014.
  37. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
  38. James Sullivan, 2005. "Borrowing during unemployment: unsecured debt as a safety net," Proceedings 958, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  39. Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor & Santaeulàlia-Llopis, Raül, 2010. "Redistributive shocks and productivity shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(8), pages 931-948, November.
  40. Karel Mertens & Morten Overgaard Ravn, 2010. "Online Appendix to "Understanding the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated Tax Policy Shocks"," Technical Appendices 09-221, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  41. Robert Shimer, 2007. "Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 13421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed011:517. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.