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Consumption And Credit: A Model Of Time-Varying Liquidity Constraints

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  • Sydney Ludvigson

Abstract

This paper studies the optimal consumption behavior of individuals who face borrowing limitations that vary stochastically with their income. This framework is motivated by new empirical evidence that I document in U.S. aggregate data: predictable growth in consumer credit is significantly related to consumption growth, a finding that is inconsistent with existing models of consumer behavior. The time-varying liquidity constraint model considered here correctly predicts two key properties of the U.S. aggregate data: the correlation of consumption growth with predictable credit growth documented in this paper, and the well-known correlation between consumption growth and predictable income growth that has been documented extensively elsewhere. © 1999 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 81 (1999)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 434-447

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:81:y:1999:i:3:p:434-447

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  1. 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.
  2. Deaton, Angus, 1991. "Saving and Liquidity Constraints," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1221-48, September.
  3. 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.
  4. Angus Deaton & Guy Laroque, 1990. "On The Behavior of Commodity Prices," NBER Working Papers 3439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  6. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1983. "Stochastic Consumption, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Asset Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 249-65, April.
  7. Campbell, John Y. & Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1991. "The response of consumption to income : A cross-country investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 723-756, May.
  8. Mervyn Allister King, 1993. "Debt Deflation: Theory and Evidence," FMG Discussion Papers dp175, Financial Markets Group.
  9. Carroll, Christopher D & Fuhrer, Jeffrey C & Wilcox, David W, 1994. "Does Consumer Sentiment Forecast Household Spending? If So, Why?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1397-1408, December.
  10. Simon G. Gilchrist & Ben Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 1994. "The financial accelerator and the flight to quality," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 94-18, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Christopher D. Carroll, 1991. "Buffer stock saving and the permanent income hypothesis," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 114, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1989. "Consumption and Capital Market Imperfections: An International Comparison," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1088-1105, December.
  13. MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
  14. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
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