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Decomposing changes in income risk using consumption data

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Author Info

  • Richard Blundell

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

  • Hamish Low

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Trinity College, Cambridge)

  • Ian Preston

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

Abstract

This paper concerns the decomposition of income risk into permanent and transitory components using repeated cross-section data on income and consumption. Our focus is on the detection of changes in the magnitudes of variances of permanent and transitory risks. A new approximation to the optimal consumption growth rule is developed. Evidence from a dynamic stochastic simulation is used to show that this approximation can provide a robust method for decomposing income risk in a nonstationary environment. We examine robustness to unobserved heterogeneity in consumption growth and to unobserved heterogeneity in income growth. We use this approach to investigate the growth in income inequality in the UK in the 1980s.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W08/13.

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Length: 54 pp.
Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:08/13

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Keywords: Income risk; inequality; approximation methods; consumption;

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References

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  1. Fatih Guvenen, 2006. "Learning your earning: are labor income shocks really very persistent?," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 145, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Hamish Low & Costas Meghir & Luigi Pistaferri, 2006. "Wage risk and employment risk over the life cycle," IFS Working Papers W06/27, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Meghir, Costas & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2002. "Income Variance Dynamics and Heterogeneity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3632, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Chris & Yaron, Amir, 2002. "Consumption and Risk Sharing Over the Life Cycle," Seminar Papers 702, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
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  24. Richard Blundell & Luigi Pistaferri & Ian Preston, 2008. "Consumption Inequality and Partial Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1887-1921, December.
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Cited by:
  1. repec:ese:iserwp:2012-05 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Bick, Alexander & Choi, Sekyu, 2013. "Revisiting the effect of household size on consumption over the life-cycle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 2998-3011.
  3. Carroll, Christopher D., 2009. "Precautionary saving and the marginal propensity to consume out of permanent income," CFS Working Paper Series 2009/16, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  4. Blundell, Richard & Pistaferri, Luigi & Saporta-Eksten, Itay, 2012. "Consumption Inequality and Family Labor Supply," IZA Discussion Papers 6900, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Carroll, Christopher D., 2011. "Theoretical foundations of buffer stock saving," CFS Working Paper Series 2011/15, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  6. Mike Brewer & Cormac O'Dea, 2012. "Measuring living standards with income and consumption: evidence from the UK," IFS Working Papers W12/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. John Sabelhaus & Samuel Ackerman, 2012. "The effect of self-reported transitory income shocks on household spending," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-64, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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