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Did Household Consumption Become More Volatile?

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  • Olga Gorbachev

Abstract

I show that after accounting for predictable variation arising from movements in real interest rates, preferences and income shocks, liquidity constraints and measurement errors, volatility of household consumption in the US increased by 25 percent between 1970 and 2004. The increase was lower than that of volatility of family income. Nonwhite and those with less than 13 years of education, for whom there was no differential increase in income volatility, experienced a significantly larger increase in volatility of household consumption. Substantial differences in wealth and access to credit markets point to the main reason for this divide. JEL: D12, D14, E21, J15

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.5.2248
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 (August)
Pages: 2248-70

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:5:p:2248-70

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References

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  1. Richard Blundell & Luigi Pistaferri & Ian Preston, 2008. "Consumption Inequality and Partial Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1887-1921, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. James Feigenbaum & Geng Li, 2011. "Household income uncertainties over three decades," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-25, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Jacob S. Hacker & Gregory Huber & Austin Nichols & Philipp Rehm & Mark Schlesinger & Robert G. Valletta & Stuart Craig, 2012. "The Economic Security Index: a new measure for research and policy analysis," Working Paper Series 2012-21, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. Giorgio E. Primiceri & Thijs van Rens, 2006. "Heterogeneous life-cycle profiles, income risk and consumption inequality," Economics Working Papers 945, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 2008.
  4. Rong Hai & Dirk Krueger & Andrew Postlewaite, 2013. "On the Welfare Cost of Consumption Fluctuations in the Presence of Memorable Goods," NBER Working Papers 19386, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Olga Gorbachev & Keshav Dogra, 2010. "Evolution of Consumption Volatility for the Liquidity Constrained Households over 1983 to 2004," Working Papers 10-12, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  6. Steven J. Davis & James A. Kahn, 2008. "Interpreting the Great Moderation: Changes in the Volatility of Economic Activity at the Macro and Micro Levels," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(4), pages 155-80, Fall.
  7. O’Flaherty, Brendan, 2012. "Individual homelessness: Entries, exits, and policy," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 77-100.
  8. Benjamin J. Keys, 2010. "The credit market consequences of job displacement," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-24, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Gabriela Prelipcean & Mircea Boscoianu, 2014. "Stochastic Dynamic Model on the Consumption – Saving Decision for Adjusting Products and Services Supply According with Consumers` Attainability," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 16(35), pages 201, February.
  10. Rong Hai & Andrew Postlewaite & Dirk Krueger, 2013. "On the Welfare Cost of Consumption Fluctuations in the Presence of Memorable Goods, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 14-012, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 15 Apr 2014.
  11. Claudia M. Buch, 2008. "The Great Risk Shift? Income Volatility in an International Perspective," CESifo Working Paper Series 2465, CESifo Group Munich.

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