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Incomplete information and the time series behaviour of consumption

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  • David Demery

    (Department of Economics, University of Bristol, 8 Woodland Road, Bristol, BS8 1TN, UK)

  • Nigel W. Duck

    (Department of Economics, University of Bristol, 8 Woodland Road, Bristol, BS8 1TN, UK)

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    Abstract

    Pischke (1995) uses both microeconomic and macroeconomic US data to test the idea that, within an otherwise standard PIH framework, ignorance by agents of aggregate labour income can account for the observed degree of excess smoothness and sensitivity in consumption. His tests involve only the second moments of aggregate consumption and labour income. In this paper our main aim is to identify and test the restrictions his model implies for aggregate consumption dynamics, using US quarterly data over the period 1959-1996, but our framework allows us also to test an earlier, related model of Goodfriend (1992). We find that both models can be formally rejected: ignorance of aggregate labour income cannot by itself account for aggregate consumption dynamics; some other relaxation of the assumptions of the standard PIH is required. We give an example of one possible such relaxation and present evidence indicating that Pischke's version of imperfect information may, within that framework, have a significant role to play. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

    Volume (Year): 15 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 355-366

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    Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:15:y:2000:i:4:p:355-366

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    1. Cochrane, John H, 1989. "The Sensitivity of Tests of the Intertemporal Allocation of Consumption to Near-Rational Alternatives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 319-37, June.
    2. Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Consumption and Liquidity Constraints: An Empirical Investigation," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 16-88, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    3. Joseph G. Altonji & Aloysius Siow, 1986. "Testing the Response of Consumption to Income Changes with (Noisy) PanelData," NBER Working Papers 2012, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Fumio Hayashi, 1984. "The Permanent Income Hypothesis and Consumption Durability: Analysis Based on Japanese Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 1305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Deaton, A., 1989. "Saving And Liquidity Constraints," Papers 153, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
    6. Campbell, John Y & Deaton, Angus, 1989. "Why Is Consumption So Smooth?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 357-73, July.
    7. Flavin, Marjorie A, 1981. "The Adjustment of Consumption to Changing Expectations about Future Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 974-1009, October.
    8. Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1995. "Individual Income, Incomplete Information, and Aggregate Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 805-40, July.
    9. Christiano, Lawrence J & Eichenbaum, Martin & Marshall, David, 1991. "The Permanent Income Hypothesis Revisited," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 397-423, March.
    10. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 185-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Hayashi, Fumio & Sims, Christopher A, 1983. "Nearly Efficient Estimation of Time Series Models with Predetermined, but Not Exogenous, Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(3), pages 783-98, May.
    12. Attfield, C. L. F. & Demery, D. & Duck, N. W., 1992. "Partial adjustment and the permanent income hypothesis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1205-1222, August.
    13. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1991. "Permanent Income, Current Income, and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 2436, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1992. "Information-Aggregation Bias," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 508-19, June.
    15. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-87, December.
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    Cited by:
    1. Huang, Yu-Lieh & Huang, Chao-Hsi & Kuan, Chung-Ming, 2008. "Reexamining the permanent income hypothesis with uncertainty in permanent and transitory innovation states," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1816-1836, December.
    2. Pozzi, Lorenzo, 2006. "Ricardian equivalence under imperfect information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 2009-2026, November.
    3. Demery, David & Duck, Nigel W., 2007. "The theory of rational expectations and the interpretation of macroeconomic data," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-18, March.
    4. David Demery & Nigel Duck, 2002. "Optimally Rational Expectations and Macroeconomics," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 02/533, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    5. Lorenzo Pozzi, 2007. "Idiosyncratic Labour Income Risk and Aggregate Consumption: an Unobserved Component Approach," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-069/2, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. repec:dgr:uvatin:2007069 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Pozzi, Lorenzo, 2010. "Idiosyncratic labour income risk and aggregate consumption: An unobserved component approach," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 169-184, March.

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