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Can Habit Formation be Reconciled with Business Cycle Facts?

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  • Lettau, M.
  • Uhlig, H.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

Many asset pricing puzzles can be explained when habit formation is added to standard preferences. We show that utility functions with a habit then gives rise to a puzzle of consumption volatility in place of the asset pricing puzzles when agents can choose consumption and labor optimally in response to more fundamental shocks. We show that the consumption reaction to technology shocks are too small by an order of magnitude when a utility includes a habit. Alternative models with consistent and exogenous but stochastic labor input are considered. A model with persistent technology shocks and stochastic labor is shown to be potentially consistent with substantial consumption variability aswell as procyclical labor input and labor productivity even when a habit is present.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 1995-54.

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Date of creation: 1995
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:199554

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  1. A. Abel, 2010. "Asset prices under habit formation and catching up with the Jones," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1395, David K. Levine.
  2. Hansen, Lars Peter & Jagannathan, Ravi, 1991. "Implications of Security Market Data for Models of Dynamic Economies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 225-62, April.
  3. G. Constantinides, 1990. "Habit formation: a resolution of the equity premium puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1397, David K. Levine.
  4. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  5. Philippe Weil, 1989. "The Equity Premium Puzzle and the Riskfree Rate Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 2829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Cochrane, John H. & Campbell, John, 1999. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Scholarly Articles 3119444, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  8. John H. Cochrane & Lars Peter Hansen, 1992. "Asset Pricing Explorations for Macroeconomics," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992, Volume 7, pages 115-182 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Campbell, John, 1994. "Inspecting the Mechanism: An Analytical Approach to the Stochastic Growth Model," Scholarly Articles 3196342, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
  11. 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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