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Death to the Log-Linearized Consumption Euler Equation! (And Very Poor Health to the Second-Order Approximation)

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  • Carroll Christopher Dixon

    ()
    (Johns Hopkins University)

Abstract

This paper shows that standard methods for estimating log-linearized consumption Euler equations using micro data cannot successfully uncover structural parameters like the coefficient of relative risk aversion from a dataset of simulated consumers behaving exactly according to the standard model. Furthermore, consumption growth for the simulated consumers is very highly statistically related to predictable income growth -- and thus standard `excess sensitivity' tests would reject the hypothesis that consumers are behaving according to the model. Results are not much better for the second-order approximation to the Euler equation. The paper concludes that empirical estimation of consumption Euler equations should be abandoned, and discusses some alternative empirical strategies that are not subject to the problems of Euler equation estimation.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 1 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 1-38

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:advances.1:y:2001:i:1:n:6

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  1. Orazio P. Attanasio & Guglielmo Weber, 1994. "Is Consumption Growth Consistent with Intertemporal Optimization? Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey," NBER Working Papers 4795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. Dynan, Karen E, 1993. "How Prudent Are Consumers?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 1104-13, December.
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  17. Christopher D. Carroll, 1992. "The Buffer-Stock Theory of Saving: Some Macroeconomic Evidence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 61-156.
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