Aggregate Consumption and Debt Accumulation: An Empirical Examination of US Household Behavior
AbstractThe outbreak of the financial crisis in 2008 witnessed a marked contraction in US consumption spending that had hitherto been boosted by historically high levels of household debt-financing. These events question the validity of conventional models of consumption based on the life-cycle hypothesis, with its benign view of debt as a neutral instrument of optimal intertemporal expenditure smoothing. This paper develops an alternative account of consumption spending based on the Keynesian relative income hypothesis, which claims that current income, its distribution, household borrowing, and household indebtedness all affect current consumption. The paper then provides an empirical investigation of US consumption spending since the 1960s. The results of this inquiry are not compatible with the life-cycle hypothesis, but are congruent with our alternative Keynesian theory of consumption based on the relative 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 Trinity College, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1204.
Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 300 Summit Street, Hartford, CT 06106-3100
Phone: (860) 297 - 2485
Web page: http://www.trincoll.edu/Academics/MajorsAndMinors/Economics/Pages/default.aspx
More information through EDIRC
Consumption; household borrowing; household debt; life cycle hypothesis; relative income hypothesis;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian
- E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
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.:
- Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
- Case, Karl E. & Quigley, John M. & Shiller, Robert J., 2012.
"Comparing Wealth Effects: The Stock Market versus The Housing Market,"
Department of Economics, Working Paper Series
qt6px1d1sc, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Case Karl E. & Quigley John M. & Shiller Robert J., 2005. "Comparing Wealth Effects: The Stock Market versus the Housing Market," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-34, May.
- Karl E. Case & John M. Quigley & Robert J. Shiller, 2001. "Comparing Wealth Effects: The Stock Market versus the Housing Market," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1335, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Case, Karl E. & Quigley, John M. & Shiller, Robert J., 2001. "Comparing Wealth Effects: The Stock Market versus The Housing Market," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt44k6g6vx, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Case, Karl E. & Quigley, John M. & Shiller, Robert J., 2005. "Comparing Wealth Effects: The Stock Market versus the Housing Market," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt28d3s92s, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
- Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller & John M. Quigley, 2001. "Comparing Wealth Effects: The Stock Market Versus the Housing Market," NBER Working Papers 8606, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Karl E. Case, John M. Quigley, Robert J. Shiller., 2001. "Comparing Wealth Effects: The Stock Market versus The Housing Market," Economics Working Papers E01-308, University of California at Berkeley.
- Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2009.
"Top Incomes in the Long Run of History,"
NBER Working Papers
15408, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "Income Inequality In The United States, 1913-1998," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-39, February.
- Thomas I. Palley, 2002. "Economic contradictions coming home to roost? Does the U.S. economy face a long-term aggregate demand generation problem?," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 25(1), pages 9-32, January.
- David Dequech, 1999. "Expectations and Confidence under Uncertainty," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 21(3), pages 415-430, April.
- Gilberto Tadeu Lima & Mark Setterfield, 2008.
"Inflation targeting and macroeconomic stability in a Post Keynesian economy,"
Journal of Post Keynesian Economics,
M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 30(3), pages 435-461, April.
- Gilberto Tadeu Lima & Mark Setterfield, 2007. "Inflation Targeting And Macroeconomic Stability In A Post Keynesian Economy," Anais do XXXV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 35th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 174, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
- Edward N. Wolff & Ajit Zacharias, 2006.
"Household Wealth and the Measurement of Economic Well-Being in the United States,"
Economics Working Paper Archive
wp_447, Levy Economics Institute, The.
- Edward Wolff & Ajit Zacharias, 2009. "Household wealth and the measurement of economic well-being in the United States," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 83-115, June.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
- Simon Mohun, 2006. "Distributive shares in the US economy, 1964--2001," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(3), pages 347-370, May.
- Johansen, Søren & Juselius, Katarina, 1992. "Testing structural hypotheses in a multivariate cointegration analysis of the PPP and the UIP for UK," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1-3), pages 211-244.
- Dolado, Juan José & Jenkinson, Tim & Sosvilla-Rivero, Simón, 1990.
"Cointegration and Unit Roots,"
Open Access publications from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
info:hdl:10016/3321, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.
- Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2004. "Consumer Confidence and Consumer Spending," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 29-50, Spring.
- Mark Setterfield, 2010. "Real Wages, Aggregate Demand, and the Macroeconomic Travails of the US Economy: Diagnosis and Prognosis," Working Papers 1005, Trinity College, Department of Economics.
- Mark Setterfield & Ted Lovejoy, 2006. "Aspirations, bargaining power, and macroeconomic performance," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 29(1), pages 117-148, October.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Setterfield).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.