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Consumer confidence and economic fluctuations

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  • John G. Matsusaka
  • Argia M. Sbordone

Abstract

If consumers become pessimistic about the state of the economy, can there be a slowdown in output even if their pessimism is not based on economic fundamentals? Recent macroeconomic models show the answer is yes if there are 'strategic complementarities' and multiple equilibria. The authors investigate the link between consumer confidence and economic fluctuations using vector autoregressions. In all models, after controlling for economic fundamentals, the hypothesis that consumers sentiment does not cause GNP (in the Granger sense) can be rejected. Variance decompositions suggest that consumer sentiment accounts for between 13 and 26 percent of the innovation variance of GNP. Copyright 1995 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues with number 93-13.

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Date of creation: 1993
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhma:93-13

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Keywords: Consumer behavior ; Business cycles ; Gross national product;

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