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Hyperbolic Discounting and Uniform Savings Floor

  • Benjamin A. Malin

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Stanford University)

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.

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File URL: http://www-siepr.stanford.edu/repec/sip/04-034.pdf
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Paper provided by Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in its series Discussion Papers with number 04-034.

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Date of creation: Aug 2005
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Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:04-034
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  1. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  2. Manuel Amador & George-Marios Angeletos & Ivan Werning, 2004. "Commitment vs. Flexibility," 2004 Meeting Papers 87, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Benjamin A. Malin, 2005. "Hyperbolic Discounting and Uniform Savings Floor," Discussion Papers 04-034, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  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. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
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