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The Distribution of Wealth and the MPC: Implications of New European Data

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  • Christopher D. Carroll
  • Jiri Slacalek
  • Kiichi Tokuoka

Abstract

Using a standard, realistically calibrated model of buffer-stock saving with transitory and permanent income shocks, we study how cross-country differences in the wealth distribution and household income dynamics affect the marginal propensity to consume out of transitory shocks (MPC). Across the 15 countries in our sample, we find that the aggregate consumption response ranges between 0.1 and 0.4 and is stronger (i) in economies with large wealth inequality, where a larger proportion of households has little wealth, (ii) under larger transitory income shocks, and (iii) when we consider households only use liquid assets (rather than net wealth) to smooth consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher D. Carroll & Jiri Slacalek & Kiichi Tokuoka, 2014. "The Distribution of Wealth and the MPC: Implications of New European Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 107-111, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:5:p:107-11
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.5.107
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2010. "Does Consumption Inequality Track Income Inequality in Italy?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 133-153, January.
    2. Nicola Fuchs-Schuendeln & Dirk Krueger & Mathias Sommer, 2010. "Inequality Trends for Germany in the Last Two Decades: A Tale of Two Countries," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 103-132, January.
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    5. Blundell, Richard & Graber, Michael & Mogstad, Magne, 2015. "Labor income dynamics and the insurance from taxes, transfers, and the family," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 58-73.
    6. Pedro Albarran & Raquel Carrasco & Maite Martinez-Granado, 2009. "Inequality for Wage Earners and Self-Employed: Evidence from Panel Data," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(4), pages 491-518, August.
    7. Milton Friedman, 1957. "Introduction to "A Theory of the Consumption Function"," NBER Chapters,in: A Theory of the Consumption Function, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Chiuri, Maria Concetta & Jappelli, Tullio, 2003. "Financial market imperfections and home ownership: A comparative study," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(5), pages 857-875, October.
    9. Carroll, Christopher D. & Slacalek, Jiri & Tokuoka, Kiichi, 2015. "Buffer-stock saving in a Krusell–Smith world," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 97-100.
    10. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1, December.
    11. Souleles, Nicholas S., 2002. "Consumer response to the Reagan tax cuts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 99-120, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Elinder, Mikael & Erixson, Oscar & Waldenström, Daniel, 2015. "Inheritance and wealth inequality: Evidence from population registers," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2015:3, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    2. Felipe Martínez & Francisca Uribe, 2017. "Distribución de Riqueza no Previsional de los Hogares Chilenos," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 806, Central Bank of Chile.
    3. Pedro Brinca & Miguel H. Ferreira & Francesco Franco & Hans A. Holter & Laurence Malafry, 2017. "Fiscal Consolidation Programs and Income Inequality," CeBER Working Papers 2017-11, Centre for Business and Economics Research (CeBER), University of Coimbra.
    4. Naqvi, Syed Ali Asjad, 2015. "Modeling Growth, Distribution, and the Environment in a Stock-Flow Consistent Framework," Ecological Economic Papers 4468, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    5. Philippe De Donder & John E. Roemer, 2017. "The dynamics of capital accumulation in the US: simulations after piketty," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 15(2), pages 121-141, June.
    6. Pedro Brinca & Francesco Franco & Hans Holter & Laurence Malafry & Miguel Ferreira, 2018. "Fiscal Consolidation Programs and Income Inequality," 2018 Meeting Papers 393, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Balamatsias, Pavlos, 2017. "Inequality, imperfect competition, and fiscal policy," MPRA Paper 82178, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Jess Benhabib & Alberto Bisin, 2016. "Skewed Wealth Distributions: Theory and Empirics," NBER Working Papers 21924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Quintana-Domeque, Climent & Wohlfart, Johannes, 2016. "“Relative concerns for consumption at the top”: An intertemporal analysis for the UK," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 172-194.
    10. Dimitris Christelis & Dimitris Georgarakos & Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri & Maarten van Rooij, 2017. "Asymmetric consumption effects of transitory income shocks," DNB Working Papers 551, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    11. Sommer, Eric, 2017. "Wealth Transfers and Tax Planning: Evidence for the German Bequest Tax," IZA Discussion Papers 11120, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. repec:wfo:wstudy:57883 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Jozef Pacolet & Joris Vanormelingen, 2015. "Illicit Financial Flows: concepts and first macro estimates for Belgium and its 18 preferred partner countries," BeFinD Working Papers 0110, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
    14. Rodney Ramcharan & Amir Kermani & Marco Di Maggio, 2015. "Monetary Policy Pass-Through: Household Consumption and Voluntary Deleveraging," 2015 Meeting Papers 256, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. repec:ptu:bdpart:e201610 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Kim Sujin, 2018. "Investment Puzzle: Deeper Roots," Working Papers id:12433, eSocialSciences.
    17. Amaral, Pedro S., 2017. "Monetary Policy and Inequality," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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