Optimal consumption and savings with stochastic income
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We develop an analytically tractable consumption-savings model for a liquidity-constrained agent who faces both permanent and transitory income shocks. We find that risk aversion and intertemporal substitution have very different effects on both consumption and the steady-state savings target. Moderate changes in risk aversion have large effects on consumption and buffer-stock savings. With permanent shocks, it takes many years to reach the steady-state savings target. We also find that large discrete income shocks (jumps) occurring at low frequencies can be very costly. Unlike conventional wisdom, transitory shocks can generate very large precautionary savings demand, especially for low transitory income states.
NBER Working Paper No. 19319, August 2013, JEL No. E21
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