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Looking for the News in the Noise. Additional Stochastic Implications of Optimal Consumption Choise

  • Laurence J. KOTLIKOFF
  • Ariel PAKES

In neoclassical models of consumption choice under earnings uncertainty changes in consumption programs from one period to the next are determined by new information received about future earnings over the period. This proposition suggests that actual consumption choices imbed extractable information about the extent and time resolution of earnings uncertainty. The primary goal of this paper is to demonstrate how one can infer the extent of earnings uncertainty from information on consumption choices. We obtain a theoretical relationship between the revision in the present expected value of consumption (noise) and the revision in the expectation of lifetime earnings (news) that can be used to measure subjective earnings uncertainty.

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Article provided by ENSAE in its journal Annals of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): (1988)
Issue (Month): 9 ()
Pages: 29-46

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Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:1988:i:9:p:02
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  1. Sargent, Thomas J, 1978. "Rational Expectations, Econometric Exogeneity, and Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(4), pages 673-700, August.
  2. 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.
  3. Benjamin Eden & Ariel Pakes, 1981. "On Measuring the Variance-Age Profile of Lifetime Earnings," UCLA Economics Working Papers 196, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Mervyn A. King, 1983. "The Economics of Saving," NBER Working Papers 1247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Flavin, Marjorie A, 1981. "The Adjustment of Consumption to Changing Expectations about Future Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 974-1009, October.
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