On the Relationships Between Real Consumption, Income, and Wealth
AbstractThe existence of durable goods implies that the welfare flow from consumption cannot be directly associated with total consumption expenditures. As a result, tests of standard theories of consumption (such as the Permanent Income Hypothesis, or PIH) typically focus on nondurable goods and services. Specifically, these studies generally relate real consumption of nondurable goods and services to measures of real income and wealth, where the latter are deflated by a price index for total consumption expenditures. This paper demonstrates that this procedure is only valid under the assumption that real consumption of nondurables and services is a constant multiple of aggregate real consumption outlays---an assumption that represents a very poor description of U.S. data. The paper develops an alternative approach that is based on the observation that the ratio of these series has historically been stable in nominal terms, and uses this approach to examine two basic predictions of the PIH. We obtain significantly different results relative to the traditional approach.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Central Bank of Ireland in its series Research Technical Papers with number 4/RT/02.
Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2002
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Palumbo, Michael & Rudd, Jeremy & Whelan, Karl, 2006. "On the Relationships Between Real Consumption, Income, and Wealth," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 24, pages 1-11, January.
- Michael Palumbo & Jeremy Rudd & Karl Whelan, 2002. "On the relationships between real consumption, income and wealth," Finance and Economics Discussion Series, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 2002-38, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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