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Consumer Durables and the Real Interest Rate

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  • Mankiw, N Gregory

Abstract

One important channel through which real interest rates affect aggregate demand is consumer expenditure on durable goods. This paper examines empirically the link between interest rates and consumer durables. Solving for the decision rule relating income and interest rates to consumer demand is an intractable task. This paper avoids this problem by examining the first-order conditions necessary for maximization by the representative consumer. Structural parameters of there presentative utility function are thus recovered. The estimated model suggests that expenditure on consumer durables is far more sensitive to changes in the interest rate than is expenditure on nondurables and services.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics & Statistics.

Volume (Year): 67 (1985)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 353-62

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:67:y:1985:i:3:p:353-62

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References

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  1. N. Gregory Mankiw & Julio J. Rotemberg & Lawrence H. Summers, 1982. "Intertemporal Substitution in Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 0898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1982. "Hall's consumption hypothesis and durable goods," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 417-425.
  3. Lawrence H. Summers, 1982. "Tax Policy, the Rate of Return, and Savings," NBER Working Papers 0995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ben S. Bernanke, 1982. "Adjustment Costs, Durables, and Aggregate Consumption," NBER Working Papers 1038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Mishkin, Frederic S, 1976. "Illiquidity, Consumer Durable Expenditure, and Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 642-54, September.
  7. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  8. Shapiro, Matthew D., 1984. "The permanent income hypothesis and the real interest rate : Some evidence from panel data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 93-100.
  9. Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1981. "The permanent income hypothesis and the real interest rate," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 307-311.
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