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Re-examining the Consumption-Wealth Relationship: The Role of Model Uncertainty

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Author Info

  • Gary Koop

    ()

  • Simon M. Potter
  • Rodney W. Strachan

    ()

Abstract

This paper discusses the consumption-wealth relationship. Following the recent influential work of Lettau and Ludvigson [e.g. Lettau and Ludvigson (2001), (2004)], we use data on consumption, assets and labor income and a vector error correction framework. Key findings of their work are that consumption does respond to permanent changes in wealth in the expected manner, but that most changes in wealth are transitory and have no effect on consumption. We investigate the robustness of these results to model uncertainty and argue for the use of Bayesian model averaging. We find that there is model uncertainty with regards 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 empirical implications depends on the researcher's attitude towards the economic theory used by Lettau and Ludvigson. If we work with their model, our findings are very similar to theirs. However, if we work with a broader set of models and let the data speak, we obtain somewhat different results. In the latter case, we find that the exact magnitude of the role of permanent shocks is hard to estimate precisely. Thus, although some support exists for the view that their role is small, we cannot rule out the possibility that they have a substantive role to play.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Leicester in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 05/3.

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Date of creation: Feb 2005
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Handle: RePEc:lec:leecon:05/3

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Keywords: wealth effect; vector error correction model; Bayesian model averaging; cointegration; variance decomposition.;

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References

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  1. Carmen Fernandez & Eduardo Ley & Mark Steel, 2001. "Model uncertainty in cross-country growth regressions," Econometrics 0110002, EconWPA.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2010. "Averaging forecasts from VARs with uncertain instabilities," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(1), pages 5-29.
  4. Mattias Villani, 2009. "Steady-state priors for vector autoregressions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(4), pages 630-650.
  5. Koop, Gary & Leon-Gonzalez, Roberto & Strachan, Rodney W., 2010. "Dynamic Probabilities of Restrictions in State Space Models: An Application to the Phillips Curve," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 28(3), pages 370-379.
  6. 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).
  7. Olivier Allain, 2011. "The impact of income distribution on consumption: a reassessment," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00712657, HAL.
  8. Jochmann, Markus & Koop, Gary, 2011. "Regime-Switching Cointegration," SIRE Discussion Papers 2011-60, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  9. Maltritz, Dominik & Molchanov, Alexander, 2014. "Country credit risk determinants with model uncertainty," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 224-234.
  10. Iscan, Talan B., 2011. "Productivity growth and the U.S. saving rate," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1-2), pages 501-514, January.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  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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