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Reexamining the consumption-wealth relationship: the role of model uncertainty

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  • Gary Koop
  • Simon M. Potter
  • Rodney W. Strachan

Abstract

In their influential work on the consumption-wealth relationship, Lettau and Ludvigson found that while consumption responds to permanent changes in wealth in the expected manner, most changes in wealth are transitory with no effect on consumption. We investigate the robustness of these results to model uncertainty using Bayesian model averaging. We find that there is model uncertainty with regard to the number of cointegrating vectors, the form of deterministic components, lag length, and whether the cointegrating residuals affect consumption and income directly. Whether this uncertainty has important implications depends on the researcher's attitude toward this economic theory used by Lettau and Ludvigson. If we work with their exact model, our findings are very similar. However, if we work with a broader set of models, we find that the exact magnitude of the role of permanent shocks is difficult to estimate precisely. Thus, although some support exists for the view that the role of shocks is small, we cannot rule out the possibility that they have a substantive effect on consumption.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 202.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:202

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Keywords: Consumption (Economics) ; Wealth ; Econometric models ; Uncertainty;

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Cited by:
  1. Iscan, Talan B., 2011. "Productivity growth and the U.S. saving rate," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1-2), pages 501-514, January.
  2. Jochmann, Markus & Koop, Gary, 2011. "Regime-Switching Cointegration," SIRE Discussion Papers 2011-60, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  3. Gary Koop & Roberto Leon-Gonzalez & Rodney W. Strachan, 2008. "Dynamic probabilities of restrictions in state space models: An application to the Phillips curve," Working Paper Series 26-08, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, revised Jan 2008.
  4. Justyna Wróblewska, 2009. "Bayesian Model Selection in the Analysis of Cointegration," Central European Journal of Economic Modelling and Econometrics, CEJEME, vol. 1(1), pages 57-69, March.
  5. Boysen-Hogrefe, Jens & Dovern, Jonas & Gern, Klaus-Jürgen & Jannsen, Nils & Van Roye, Björn & Sander, Birgit & Scheide, Joachim & Boss, Alfred & Meier, Carsten-Patrick, 2008. "Weltkonjunktur und deutsche Konjunktur im Winter 2008," Kiel Discussion Papers 459/460, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  6. Ren, Yu & Yuan, Yufei & Zhang, Yang, 2014. "Human capital, household capital and asset returns," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 11-22.
  7. Mattias Villani, 2009. "Steady-state priors for vector autoregressions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(4), pages 630-650.
  8. Maltritz, Dominik & Molchanov, Alexander, 2013. "Analyzing determinants of bond yield spreads with Bayesian Model Averaging," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5275-5284.
  9. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2008. "Averaging forecasts from VARs with uncertain instabilities," Working Papers 2008-030, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  10. Olivier Allain, 2011. "The impact of income distribution on consumption: a reassessment," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00712657, HAL.
  11. Chen, Jie, 2006. "Re-evaluating the association between housing wealth and aggregate consumption: New evidence from Sweden," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 321-348, December.
  12. Maltritz, Dominik, 2012. "Determinants of sovereign yield spreads in the Eurozone: A Bayesian approach," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 657-672.
  13. Maltritz, Dominik & Molchanov, Alexander, 2014. "Country credit risk determinants with model uncertainty," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 224-234.
  14. Yang, Zan & Wang, S.T., 2012. "Permanent and transitory shocks in owner-occupied housing: A common trend model of price dynamics," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 336-346.
  15. Márquez, Elena & Martínez-Cañete, Ana R. & Pérez-Soba, Inés, 2013. "Wealth shocks, credit conditions and asymmetric consumption response: Empirical evidence for the UK," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 357-366.

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