NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Were Nineteenth-Century Industrial Workers Permanent Income Savers?

Howard Bodenhorn

NBER Working Paper No. 23948
Issued in October 2017
NBER Program(s):DAE

Theories of household saving posit that households add to or draw down wealth to equalize the discounted presented value of consumption over time. This paper examines the extent to which nineteenth-century urban American industrial workers used saving and dissaving to smooth consumption in response to unanticipated, plausibly exogenous, shocks to income. Information on the expected and unexpected number of days unemployed is used to construct estimates of transitory income. The data are then used to estimate the marginal propensity to save from transitory income, and the results are broadly consistent with Friedman’s (1957) permanent income hypothesis.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Access to NBER Papers

You are eligible for a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23948

 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us