Standard macroeconomic models have difficulties accounting for the surge in international reserves of Asian countries in the aftermath of the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997. We propose precautionary demand for saving generated by model uncertainty as an important driver of this phenomenon. Using Korean data, we estimate a simple permanent income model augmented with model uncertainty, find a structural break at the point of the Asian Financial Crisis, and identify a rise in concern for model misspecification which is distinct from an increase in income volatility. The post-crisis concern for model misspecification implies a reasonable detection error probability. We also show that learning serves as an additional powerful amplification mechanism in our framework.
Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 2018
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