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Foundations of Intrinsic Habit Formation

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Abstract

We provide theoretical foundations for several common (nested) representations of intrinsic linear habit formation. These representations are dynamically consistent and additive, with geometrically decaying coefficients of habit formation. Our axiomatization introduces a revealed preference theory of weaning a decision-maker from her habits using the device of compensation. We characterize linear habit formation in terms of the ability to wean using uniquely determined compensating streams. Moreover, we distinguish between habits that are responsive to weaning and those that are persistent, develop a simple choice-theoretic measure of the rate of habit decay, and demonstrate how to recover the entire sequence of habit formation coefficients from observed choice behavior. We introduce novel monotonicity and separability axioms that are appropriate for time-nonseparable preferences. Our analysis suggests techniques for eliciting dynamic reference points from choice behavior and obtaining discounted utility representations on endogenously generated auxiliary spaces.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1642.

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Length: 67 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Econometrica, 2010
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1642

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Postal: Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA
Phone: (203) 432-3702
Fax: (203) 432-6167
Web page: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/
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Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

Related research

Keywords: Linear habit formation; Time-nonseparable preferences; Compensation; Weaning; Compensated separability; Gains monotonicity; Endogenously generated auxiliary spaces;

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References

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  1. Christopher D. Carroll & Jody Overland & David N. Weil, 1995. "Saving and growth with habit formation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  5. Jonathan Shalev, 1994. "Loss Aversion in a Multi-Period Model," Game Theory and Information 9407001, EconWPA, revised 18 Mar 1997.
  6. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1986. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 41, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  7. Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2005. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000341, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2001. "Multiple Addictions," Working Papers 2001-20, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  9. David Backus & Bryan Routledge & Stanley Zin, 2004. "Exotic Preferences for Macroeconomists," NBER Working Papers 10597, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Kozicki, Sharon & Tinsley, P. A., 2002. "Dynamic specifications in optimizing trend-deviation macro models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(9-10), pages 1585-1611, August.
  11. Wendner, Ronald, 2003. "Do habits raise consumption growth?," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 151-163, June.
  12. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1959. "Stationary Ordinal Utility and Impatience," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 81, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  13. Uribe, Martin, 2002. "The price-consumption puzzle of currency pegs," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 533-569, April.
  14. Xiaohong Chen & Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2004. "Land of Addicts? An Empirical Investigation of Habit-Based Asset Pricing Behavior," NBER Working Papers 10503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Shi, Shouyong & Epstein, Larry G, 1993. "Habits and Time Preference," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(1), pages 61-84, February.
  16. William Neilson, 2006. "Axiomatic reference-dependence in behavior toward others and toward risk," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 681-692, 08.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. David Dillenberger & Kareen Rozen, 2010. "Disappointment Cycles," PIER Working Paper Archive 10-028, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  2. Kano, Takashi & Nason, James M., 2012. "Business Cycle Implications of Internal Consumption Habit for New Keynesian Models," Discussion Papers 2012-09, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
  3. Wakai, Katsutoshi, 2011. "Modeling nonmonotone preferences: The case of utility smoothing," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 213-226, March.
  4. David Dillenberger & Kareen Rozen, 2010. "History-Dependent Risk Attitude," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000321, David K. Levine.
  5. Itzhak Gilboa & Andrew Postlewaite & Larry Samuelson & David Schmeidler, 2012. "Economic Models as Analogies, Third Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 13-007, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 27 Jan 2013.
  6. Hojman, Daniel Andres & Kast, Felipe, 2009. "On the Measurement of Poverty Dynamics," Scholarly Articles 4449107, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  7. Wakai, Katsutoshi, 2012. "An infinite-horizon model of nonmonotone utility smoothing," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 170-173.
  8. Luc, Dinh The & Soubeyran, Antoine, 2013. "Variable preference relations: Existence of maximal elements," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 251-262.
  9. Orrego, Fabrizio, 2011. "Habit formation and sunspots in overlapping generations models," Working Papers 2011-013, Banco Central de Reserva del PerĂº.
  10. David Dillenberger & Kareen Rozen, 2011. "History-Dependent Risk Attitude, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 12-029, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 14 Jul 2012.
  11. Onur Ozgur & Alberto Bisin, 2011. "Dynamic linear economies with social interactions," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000036, David K. Levine.
  12. Emmanuelle Augeraud-Veron & Mauro Bambi, 2012. "Does habit formation always increase the agents' desire to smooth consumption?," Discussion Papers 12/12, Department of Economics, University of York.

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