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Measuring intertemporal substitution: The role of durable goods

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  • Reinhart, Carmen
  • Ogaki, Masao

Abstract

As pointed out by Hall (1988), intertemporal substitution by consumers is a central element of many modern macroeconomic and international models. For example, many of the policy implications of an endogenous growth model studied by Barro (1990) depends on the assumption that the intertemporal elasticity of substitution is positive. In estimating the intertemporal elasticity of substitution (IES), however, Hall (1988) fmds that when time aggregation is taken into account, his point estimates are small and not significantly different from zero. Hall concludes that ti:e elasticity is unlikely to be much above 0.1 and may well be zero. We argue that Hall's estimator for the IES is downward biased because the intra-temporal substitution between nondurable consumption goods and durable consumption goods is ignored and because the changes in real interest rates affect user costs of durable goods. We use a two-step procedure that combines a cointegration approach to preference parameter estimation with Hansen and Singleton's (1982) Generalized Method of Moments approach in order to take these effects into account. In contrast to Hall's result, our estimates for the IES are positive and significantly different from zero even when time aggregation is taken into account.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 13690.

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Date of creation: May 1995
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:13690

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Keywords: consumption durable goods real interest rates saving;

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  1. Ben S. Bernanke, 1982. "Adjustment Costs, Durables, and Aggregate Consumption," NBER Working Papers 1038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  3. Kocherlakota, Narayana R., 1990. "On tests of representative consumer asset pricing models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 285-304, October.
  4. Ogaki, M., 1990. "Engel'S Law And Cointegration," RCER Working Papers 228, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  5. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1982. "Generalized Instrumental Variables Estimation of Nonlinear Rational Expectations Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1269-86, September.
  6. Atkeson, Andrew & Ogaki, Masao, 1996. "Wealth-varying intertemporal elasticities of substitution: Evidence from panel and aggregate data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 507-534, December.
  7. Donald W.K. Andrews & Christopher J. Monahan, 1990. "An Improved Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 942, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  8. Park, J.Y. & Ogaki, M., 1991. "Inference in Cointegrated Models Using VAR Prewhitening to Estimate Shortrun Dynamics," RCER Working Papers 281, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  9. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Growth in open economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 799, The World Bank.
  10. Eberly, Janice C, 1994. "Adjustment of Consumers' Durables Stocks: Evidence from Automobile Purchases," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 403-36, June.
  11. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-87, December.
  12. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1988. "Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 877R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jul 1989.
  13. Gordon, Robert J., 1990. "The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226304557, Winter.
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  16. Fauvel, Y. & Samson, L., 1989. "Intertemporal Substitution And Durable Goods: An Empircal Analysis," Cahiers de recherche 8916, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
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  18. Wykoff, Frank C, 1970. "Capital Depreciation in the Postwar Period: Automobiles," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 52(2), pages 168-72, May.
  19. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  20. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1985. "Consumer Durables and the Real Interest Rate," NBER Working Papers 1148, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. han, H.L. & Ogaki, M., 1991. "Consumption, Income, and Cointegration Further Analysis," RCER Working Papers 305, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  22. Jonathan D. Ostry & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1992. "Private Saving and Terms of Trade Shocks: Evidence from Developing Countries," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 39(3), pages 495-517, September.
  23. Park, Joon Y, 1992. "Canonical Cointegrating Regressions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 119-43, January.
  24. Cooley, Thomas F & Ogaki, Masao, 1996. "A Time Series Analysis of Real Wages, Consumption, and Asset Returns," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(2), pages 119-34, March-Apr.
  25. Lam, Pok-sang, 1989. "Irreversibility and consumer durables expenditures," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 135-150, January.
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  27. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
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