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American Economic Journal: Economic Policy: Vol. 1 No. 2 (August 2009)

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Heterogeneity in Intra-monthly Consumption Patterns, Self-Control, and Savings at Retirement

Article Citation

Mastrobuoni, Giovanni, and Matthew Weinberg. 2009. "Heterogeneity in Intra-monthly Consumption Patterns, Self-Control, and Savings at Retirement." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 1(2): 163-89.

DOI: 10.1257/pol.1.2.163

Abstract

Using data from the Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals, this paper describes the shape of consumption profiles over the month for Social Security benefit recipients that have saved different amounts for retirement. Individuals with income mostly made up of Social Security and savings smooth consumption over the pay period, while individuals without savings consume 25 percent fewer calories the week before they receive checks relative to the week afterwards. The findings for individuals without savings, who comprise about a fourth of our sample, are inconsistent with the standard Life Cycle- Permanent Income Hypothesis but are consistent with hyperbolic discounting. (JEL D14, E21, J26)

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Authors

Mastrobuoni, Giovanni (Collegio Carlo Alberto and CeRP, Netspar)
Weinberg, Matthew (Cornell U)

JEL Classifications

D14: Personal Finance
E21: Macroeconomics: Consumption; Saving; Wealth
J26: Retirement; Retirement Policies

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