Consumption Insurance or Consumption Mobility?
AbstractThe theory of full consumption insurance posits that households are insulated from all idiosyncratic shocks so that the ratio of the marginal utilities of consumption of any two households is constant over time. Consumption insurance therefore implies absence of consumption mobility between any two time periods. This implication requires knowledge of the evolution of the entire consumption distribution, not just its mean as in standard tests of complete markets. We test this unexplored prediction of the theory using a panel drawn from the Bank of Italy Survey of Household Income and Wealth. We design an appropriate non-parametric test and find substantial mobility of consumption even controlling for possible preference shifts and measurement error in consumption. The findings strongly reject the theory of full consumption insurance.
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 Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 19.
Date of creation: 01 Apr 1999
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of the European Economic Association, 2006, vol. 4, pages 75-115
Consumption insurance; mobility;
Other versions of this item:
- D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
- D91 - Microeconomics - - Intertemporal Choice - - - Intertemporal Household Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
- I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-1999-05-03 (All new papers)
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.:
- Deaton, Angus & Paxson, Christina, 1994.
"Intertemporal Choice and Inequality,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 437-67, June.
- Attanasio, Orazio & Davis, Steven J, 1996.
"Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1227-62, December.
- Orazio Attanasio & Steven J. Davis, 1994. "Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption," NBER Working Papers 4771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Townsend, R.M., 1991.
"Risk and Insurance in Village India,"
University of Chicago - Economics Research Center
91-3, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
- Robert M. Townsend, . "Risk and Insurance in Village India," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 91-3a, Chicago - Population Research Center.
- Shorrocks, A F, 1978. "The Measurement of Mobility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1013-24, September.
- Abhijit Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1989.
"Risk-Bearing and the Theory of Income Distribution,"
877, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1991. "Risk-Bearing and the Theory of Income Distribution," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 211-35, April.
- Cochrane, John H, 1991. "A Simple Test of Consumption Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 957-76, October.
- Andrea Brandolini, 1999.
"The Distribution of Personal Income in Post-War Italy: Source Description, Data Quality, and the Time Pattern of Income Inequality,"
Temi di discussione (Economic working papers)
350, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
- Andrea Brandolini, 1999. "The Distribution of Personal Income in Post-War Italy: Source Description, Data Quality, and the Time Pattern of Income Inequality," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 58(2), pages 183-239, September.
- Brandolini, A., 1999. "The Distribution of Personal Income in Post-War Italy: Source Description, Date Quality, and the Time Pattern of Income Inequality," Papers 350, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
- Hayashi, Fumio & Altonji, Joseph & Kotlikoff, Laurence, 1996. "Risk-Sharing between and within Families," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 261-94, March.
- Koeniger, Winfried, 2001. "Labor and Financial Market Interactions: The Case of Labor Income Risk and Car Insurance in the UK 1969-95," IZA Discussion Papers 240, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lia Ambrosio).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.