The Economics of Saving
This paper analyses recent contributions to the theory of household saving and examines empirical evidence on the subject. It focuses on (a) the derivation and estimation of first-order conditions for a consumer's optimum lfe-cycle consumption plan, (b) the conditions under which such conditions may be used to derive an aggregate consumption function, (c) the relationship between constraints in labor and cyclical markets and the notion of a "representive consumer" in macroeconomic models, and (d) the extent to which existing empirical evidence lends support to a life-cycle model of consumer behavior. Further empirical tests are proposed.
Published: in "Frontiers of Economics," Arrow, Kenneth and S. Honkapohja (eds.) Oxford and New York: Blackwell, 1985.