Essays on Consumer Saving Behavior
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Savings play an important role in consumer financial well-being by alleviating the detrimental impact of income shocks, unexpected expenditures, and other financial uncertainties (Modigliani 1986). Despite the importance of savings, most Americans do not save enough money (Kotlikoff and Summers 1981; Ülkümen and Cheema 2011). Accordingly, researchers and professionals have tried to understand and find ways to motivate saving behavior (Kotlikoff and Summers 1981; Thaler and Benartzi 2004; Ülkümen and Cheema 2011). The objective of my dissertation work is to provide a better understanding of consumers’ saving behaviors. In the first essay, I investigate how individuals can set budgets with commitment, which has received little attention in prior literature. Specifically, I propose and find that the numbers of budget category considered for spending and savings and savings goal salience jointly determine savings estimates as well as commitment to those savings estimates. In the second essay, I examine the effects of the psychology of money on savings. In particular, I propose and identify how individuals perceive the money as a behavioral incentive and how they perceive themselves in relation to others, which jointly influence their motivational orientation in savings. Taken together, my dissertation contributes to expanding existing knowledge on savings behavior for consumer welfare.
Kim, Min Jung (2015). Essays on Consumer Saving Behavior. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from