Life-cycle Wealth Accumulation and Consumption Insurance

by Claudio Campanale, Marcello Sartarelli; CeRP WP 186/18

Households appear to smooth consumption in the face of income shocks much more than implied by life-cycle versions of the standard incomplete market model under reference calibrations. In the current paper we explore in detail the role played by the life-cycle profile of wealth accumulation. We show that a standard model parameterized to match the latter can rationalize between 83 and more than 97 percent of the consumption insurance against permanent earnings shocks empirically estimated by Blundell, Pistaferri and Preston (2008), depending on the tightness of the borrowing limit.

published: November 2018