Before now psychologists have examined differences between people who plan to save and those who don’t. They haven’t looked at whether those intending to save actually do. Now Anna Rabinovich and Paul Webley have done just that.
The researchers used data collected over several years as part of the the Dutch DNB Household Survey. This included 1360 people who said they planned to save over the next two years and did, and 89 people who also said they planned to save over that time period, but failed.
The successful savers differed from the failed savers in what the researchers called their ‘time horizon’ – that is, the time they said was most important to them tended to be further in the future.
The successful savers also used effective techniques to control their spending, such as setting up an automatic transfer of funds into a savings account every month. This and other techniques used by the successful savers all had one thing in common – they made the saving process partly automatic and so less dependent on willpower. By contrast, the failed savers used ineffective techniques like keeping only small amounts of cash on them when they went out.
Há mais dados sobre o estudo no texto original do blog. Na verdade, o que os caras encontraram? Para nós, economistas, eles acharam mais uma evidência de que a taxa de desconto intertemporal é importante. Dizer que o sujeito mais precavido usa técnicas mais eficazes é, para mim, até redundante. É óbvio que ele faria isto (ok, não custa checar, já que você tem os dados, mas seria digno de nota apenas se o verificado fosse o oposto, né?).
Eis aí mais um fundamento microeconômico das – aparentemente (e tal como expostas por Keynes) esotéricas – funções macroeconômicas.