Consumption response to expected future income
AbstractThis paper shows empirical evidence in favor of forward-looking household consumption--that consumption today depends directly on household-specific ex-ante expectations of future income. This analysis is unique in using a direct consumption measure combined with an ex-ante household-specific measure of expected future income, constructed from detailed survey and administrative data on Social Security, pensions, and retirement plans. Households with high expected future income spend more today than households that have lower future income but identical current income and net worth. Omitting household-specific future income can cause mis-estimation of key consumption questions. Furthermore, when all three resources for consumption (current income, net worth, and future income) are accounted for, the average propensity to spend out of current income is similar to predictions of optimal consumption under uncertainty in a dynamic stochastic model, although the propensities to spend out of accumulated net worth and expected future income are notably lower in the data than the optimal model. Finally, these data also provide evidence on the effect of risk on consumption while controlling for all three resources. Households with high measured risk aversion consume less out of future income. All households, on average, consume more out of the more predictable sources of future income, such as future Social Security benefits.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 971.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-07-17 (All new papers)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Paul Welfens, 2010. "Transatlantic banking crisis: analysis, rating, policy issues," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 3-48, May.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kris Vajs) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Kris Vajs to update the entry or send us the correct address.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.