A Reappraisal of Recent Tests of the Permanent Income Hypothesis
AbstractHall (1978) showed that the permanent income hypothesis implies that consumption (1) follows a random walk, and (2) cannot be predicted by past income. Reexamination of Hall's data results in rejection of the random walk hypothesis in favor of the alternative hypothesis of positively autocorrelated changes. Evidently this is due to Hall's choice of a quadratic utility function. A logrithmic utility function implies a random walk in the log of consumption which is supported by the data. Hall reported that past income had a negative but insignificant relation to consumption. Changes in the log of income, however, do have a positive predictive relation to changes in the log of consumption. The adjustment of consumption to income seems to be spread over two quarters. Flavin's (1981) test of the theory is formally equivalent to Hall's except for assuming stationarity around a time trend. Mankiw and Shapiro (1984) have pointed out that the effect of detrending may be to tend to rejection of the theory when it is in fact correct. For Hall's data the effect of detrending is to reverse the sign of the coefficient on past income. Its magnitude is what the Mankiw-Shapiro analysis predicts under the permanent income hypothesis.
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 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1687.
Date of creation: Aug 1985
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Nelson, Charles R. "A Reappraisal of Recent Tests of the Permanent Income Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 95, No. 3, June 1987, pp. 64 1-646.
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Matthew D. Shapiro & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1984.
"Trends, Random Walks, and Tests of the Permanent Income Hypothesis,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
725, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Gregory Mankiw, N. & Shapiro, Matthew D., 1985. "Trends, random walks, and tests of the permanent income hypothesis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 165-174, September.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.