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China's economic fluctuations and consumption smoothing: Is consumption more volatile than output in China?

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  • Zhao, Min
  • Hsu, Minchung

Abstract

This paper provides a fundamental study of China's consumption and output fluctuations. The most recent literature reports that, in the post-1978 period, detrended consumption is significantly more volatile than detrended output in China. This indicates the inability to impose consumption smoothing. However, in those previous studies, consumption of durables, which has some features of capital, as discussed in the real business cycle literature, was not separated from private consumption. This paper is the first to estimate consumer durables for China and their service values following the method introduced in Cooley and Prescott (1995). We adjust the consumption measure to make it consistent with the real business cycle literature, and find that consumption of durables is much more volatile than output, but non-durable consumption is less volatile than, and less correlated with, output that provides evidence that supports consumption smoothing in China.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal China Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 23 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 918-927

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Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:23:y:2012:i:4:p:918-927

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/chieco

Related research

Keywords: Consumption smoothing; Economic fluctuations; Consumer durables; China;

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  1. Boyreau-Debray, Genevieve & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2004. "Pitfalls of a State-Dominated Financial System: The Case of China," CEPR Discussion Papers 4471, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. He, Qing & Tai-Leung Chong, Terence & Shi, Kang, 2009. "What accounts for Chinese Business Cycle?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 650-661, December.
  3. Chow, Gregory C, 1993. "Capital Formation and Economic Growth in China," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 809-42, August.
  4. Chong-En Bai & Chang-Tai Hsieh & Yingyi Qian, 2006. "The Return to Capital in China," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 37(2), pages 61-102.
  5. Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S. & Ravn, M., 1997. "On Adjusting the H-P Filter for the Frequency of Observations," Discussion Paper 1997-50, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  6. Chow, Gregory C & Li, Kui-Wai, 2002. "China's Economic Growth: 1952-2010," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(1), pages 247-56, October.
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