Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Reconciling Conflicting Evidence on the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution: A Macroeconomic Perspective

Contents:

Author Info

Abstract

This paper attempts to reconcile two opposing views about the elasticity of intertemporal substitution in consumption (EIS), a parameter that plays a key role in macroeconomic analysis. On the one hand, empirical studies using aggregate consumption data typically find that the EIS is close to zero (Hall, 1988). On the other hand, calibrated macroeconomic models designed to match growth and business cycle facts typically require that the EIS be close to one (Weil, 1989, Lucas, 1990, among others). We show that this apparent contradiction arises from ignoring two kinds of heterogeneity across individuals. First, a large fraction of households in the U.S. do not participate in stock markets. Second, a variety of microeconomic studies using individual-level data conclude that an individual's EIS increases with his wealth. We study a dynamic macroeconomic model featuring these two realistic sources of heterogeneity which have been largely assumed away in macroeconomics to date. We find that limited participation creates substantial wealth inequality matching that in U.S. data. Consequently, the properties of aggregate variables directly linked to wealth, such as investment and output, are almost entirely determined by the (high-elasticity) stockholders. At the same time, since consumption is much more evenly distributed across households than is wealth, estimation using aggregate consumption uncovers the low EIS of the majority of households (i.e., the poor). Moreover, this parsimonious model is also able to explain key cross-sectional facts of the U.S. data that have proved difficult to understand previously, suggesting that it can be a useful framework for studying a range of macroeconomic and policy questions.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://rcer.econ.rochester.edu/RCERPAPERS/rcer_491.pdf
File Function: full text
Download Restriction: None

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER) in its series RCER Working Papers with number 491.

as in new window
Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: May 2002
Date of revision: Mar 2003
Handle: RePEc:roc:rocher:491

Contact details of provider:
Postal: University of Rochester, Center for Economic Research, Department of Economics, Harkness 231 Rochester, New York 14627 U.S.A.

Related research

Keywords: Elasticity of intertemporal substitution; limited stock market participation; incomplete markets; wealth inequality; capital income taxation.;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris Telmer & Amir Yaron, . "Asset pricing with idiosyncratic risk and overlapping generations," GSIA Working Papers 226, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  2. Allen, F. & Gale, D., 1991. "Limited Market Participation and Volatility of Asset Prices," Weiss Center Working Papers 2-92, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
  3. Attanasio, Orazio P & Browning, Martin, 1995. "Consumption over the Life Cycle and over the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1118-37, December.
  4. Krusell, P & Smith Jr, A-A, 1995. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomic," RCER Working Papers 399, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  5. David K. Levine & William Zame, 2001. "Does Market Incompleteness Matter," Levine's Working Paper Archive 78, David K. Levine.
  6. Robert E. Hall, 1987. "Consumption," NBER Working Papers 2265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1990. "Consumption, Income, and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Kris Jacobs, 1999. "Incomplete Markets and Security Prices: Do Asset-Pricing Puzzles Result from Aggregation Problems?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(1), pages 123-163, 02.
  9. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Patrick J. Kehoe & Fabrizio Perri, 2000. "International business cycles with endogenous incomplete markets," Staff Report 265, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  11. James M. Poterba & Andrew A. Samwick, 1995. "Stock Ownership Patterns, Stock Market Fluctuations, and Consumption," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 295-372.
  12. Attanasio, Orazio P & Weber, Guglielmo, 1989. "Intertemporal Substitution, Risk Aversion and the Euler Equation for Consumption," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(395), pages 59-73, Supplemen.
  13. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Supply-Side Economics: An Analytical Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, April.
  14. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli & Ennio Stacchetti, 1999. "Technology (and Policy) Shocks in Models of Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 7063, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Browning, Martin & Hansen, Lars Peter & Heckman, James J., 1999. "Micro data and general equilibrium models," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 543-633 Elsevier.
  16. Lawrence H. Summers, 1981. "Tax Policy in a Life Cycle Model," NBER Working Papers 0302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Fatih Guvenen, 2005. "A Parsimonious Macroeconomic Model for Asset Pricing: Habit Formation of Cross-sectional Heterogeneity?," Finance 0507009, EconWPA.
  18. Heaton, John & Lucas, Deborah J, 1996. "Evaluating the Effects of Incomplete Markets on Risk Sharing and Asset Pricing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 443-87, June.
  19. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Donaldson, John B, 2002. "Labour Relations and Asset Returns," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 41-64, January.
  20. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By force of habit: a consumption-based explanation of aggregate stock market behavior," Working Papers 94-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  21. Muhammet Fatih Guvenen, 2000. "Does Stockholding Provide Perfect Risk Sharing?," GSIA Working Papers 2000-E48, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  22. King, Robert G & Rebelo, Sergio, 1990. "Public Policy and Economic Growth: Developing Neoclassical Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S126-50, October.
  23. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E & Rossi, Peter E, 1993. "Optimal Taxation in Models of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 485-517, June.
  24. 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.
  25. Michele Boldrin & Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1999. "Habit persistence, asset returns and the business cycles," Working Paper Series WP-99-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  26. James M. Poterba, 2000. "Stock Market Wealth and Consumption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 99-118, Spring.
  27. Andrew B. Abel, . "The Effects of Investing Social Security Funds in the Stock Market When Fixed Costs Prevent Some Households from Holding Stocks," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 09-00, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  28. Alon Brav & George M. Constantinides & Christopher C. Geczy, . "Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Consumers and Limited Participation: Empirical Evidence," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 23-99, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  29. Weil, Philippe, 1989. "The equity premium puzzle and the risk-free rate puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 401-421, November.
  30. 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.
  31. Orazio Attanasio & James Banks & Sarah Tanner, 1998. "Asset Holding and Consumption Volatility," NBER Working Papers 6567, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Reinhart, Carmen & Ogaki, Masao, 1995. "Measuring intertemporal substitution: The role of durable goods," MPRA Paper 13690, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  33. Mankiw, N Gregory & Rotemberg, Julio J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1985. "Intertemporal Substitution in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(1), pages 225-51, February.
  34. Kydland, Finn E., 1984. "Labor-force heterogeneity and the business cycle," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 173-208, January.
  35. Michael Haliassos & Christis Hassapis, 1997. "Non-expected Utility, Saving, and Portfolios," Macroeconomics 9709003, EconWPA, revised 11 Apr 1998.
  36. Peter Diamond, 2004. "Social Security," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 1-24, March.
  37. Yacine Ait-Sahalia & Jonathan A. Parker & Motohiro Yogo, 2001. "Luxury Goods and the Equity Premium," NBER Working Papers 8417, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  38. Schechtman, Jack & Escudero, Vera L. S., 1977. "Some results on "an income fluctuation problem"," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 151-166, December.
  39. Jermann, Urban J., 1998. "Asset pricing in production economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 257-275, April.
  40. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1983. "Stochastic Consumption, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Asset Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 249-65, April.
  41. Carroll Christopher Dixon, 2001. "Death to the Log-Linearized Consumption Euler Equation! (And Very Poor Health to the Second-Order Approximation)," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-38, April.
  42. Lawrence H. Summers, 1982. "Tax Policy, the Rate of Return, and Savings," NBER Working Papers 0995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  43. Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley, 2000. "Luxuries Are Easier to Postpone: A Proof," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 1022-1026, October.
  44. Attanasio, Orazio P & Weber, Guglielmo, 1993. "Consumption Growth, the Interest Rate and Aggregation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 631-49, July.
  45. John Heaton & Deborah Lucas, 2000. "Stock Prices and Fundamentals," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1999, Volume 14, pages 213-264 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  46. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  47. Larry Jones & Rodolfo Manuelli & Henry Siu, 2000. "Growth and Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 7633, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  48. Mankiw, N.G. & Zeldes, S.P., 1990. "The Consumption Of Stockholders And Non-Stockholders," Weiss Center Working Papers 23-90, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
  49. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
  50. Chris I. Telmer, 1991. "Asset Pricing Puzzles and Incomplete Markets," Working Papers 806, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  51. Robert E. Hall, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," NBER Working Papers 0720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  52. Amir Yaron & Harold Zhang, 1995. "Fixed Costs and Asset Market Participation," GSIA Working Papers 1997-25, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  53. Beaudry, Paul & van Wincoop, Eric, 1996. "The Intertemporal Elasticity of Substitution: An Exploration Using a US Panel of State Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(251), pages 495-512, August.
  54. Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1994. "On the quantitative importance of market completeness," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 463-496, December.
  55. Robert B. Barsky & Miles S. Kimball & F. Thomas Juster & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 5213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  56. repec:fth:starer:8415 is not listed on IDEAS
  57. Grossman, Sanford J & Shiller, Robert J, 1981. "The Determinants of the Variability of Stock Market Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 222-27, May.
  58. 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.
  59. Gary Chamberlain & Charles A. Wilson, 2000. "Optimal Intertemporal Consumption Under Uncertainty," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(3), pages 365-395, July.
  60. Basak, Suleyman & Cuoco, Domenico, 1998. "An Equilibrium Model with Restricted Stock Market Participation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 11(2), pages 309-41.
  61. David I. Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 1998. "Self-Control and Saving for Retirement," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 91-196.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:roc:rocher:491. See general 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: (Gabriel Mihalache).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.