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Hyperbolic Discounting and Uniform Savings Floor

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  • Benjamin A. Malin

    () (Department of Economics, Stanford University)

Abstract

I develop a general equilibrium model populated by agents with varying degrees of hyperbolic discounting who vote for a uniform savings floor. Although partial equilibrium intuition suggests that all individuals will prefer to have some constraint on their consumption/savings decision, I find that even the smallest amount of heterogeneity in preferences leads to very large differences in preferred policies. In fact, policy preferences are extreme: each individual either prefers having no floor imposed on the population or having a floor so high that it eliminates all borrowing and lending. I demonstrate that both endogenously determined prices and dynamically inconsistent preferences are necessary for this result. Finally, I consider how the equilibrium savings floor depends on the average amount of self-control in the population.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin A. Malin, 2005. "Hyperbolic Discounting and Uniform Savings Floor," Discussion Papers 04-034, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:04-034
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David I. Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 1998. "Self-Control and Saving for Retirement," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 91-196.
    2. Bernheim, B. Douglas, 2002. "Taxation and saving," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 18, pages 1173-1249 Elsevier.
    3. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 2001. "Choice, Chance, and Wealth Dispersion at Retirement," NBER Chapters,in: Aging Issues in the United States and Japan, pages 25-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & John Leahy & Tom Tyler, 2004. "Measuring Self-Control," NBER Working Papers 10514, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Agarwal, Sumit & Chomsisengphet, Souphala & Liu, Chunlin & Souleles, Nicholas S., 2005. "Do consumers choose the right credit contracts?," CFS Working Paper Series 2005/32, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    6. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
    7. Manuel Amador & Iván Werning & George-Marios Angeletos, 2006. "Commitment vs. Flexibility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(2), pages 365-396, March.
    8. Malin, Benjamin A., 2008. "Hyperbolic discounting and uniform savings floors," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 1986-2002, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Makoto Nakajima, 2012. "Rising indebtedness and temptation: A welfare analysis," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 3(2), pages 257-288, July.
    2. Nakajima, Makoto, 2017. "Assessing bankruptcy reform in a model with temptation and equilibrium default," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 42-64.
    3. Andersen, Torben M. & Bhattacharya, Joydeep, 2016. "Why mandate young borrowers to contribute to their retirement accounts?," ISU General Staff Papers 201609260700001016, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    4. Malin, Benjamin A., 2008. "Hyperbolic discounting and uniform savings floors," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 1986-2002, October.
    5. Nakajima, Makoto, 2013. "A tale of two commitments: equilibrium default and temptation," Working Papers 14-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Hyperbolic Discounting; General Equilibrium; Commitment; Voting;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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