Econometrica: Jan 1990, Volume 58, Issue 1

Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large

https://doi.org/0012-9682(199001)58:1<53:PSITSA>2.0.CO;2-Q
p. 53-73

Miles S. Kimball

The theory of precautionary saving is shown to be isomorphic to the Arrow-Pratt theory of risk aversion, making possible the application of a large body of knowledge about risk aversion to precautionary saving--and more generally, to the theory of optimal choice under risk. In particular, a measure of the strength of the precautionary saving motive analogous to the Arrow-Pratt measure of risk aversion is used to establish a number of new propositions about precautionary saving, and to give a new interpretation of the Dreze-Modigliani substitution effect.

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