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Consumption Inequality over the Last Half Century: Some Evidence Using the New PSID Consumption Measure

Author

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  • Orazio Attanasio
  • Luigi Pistaferri

Abstract

This paper contributes to the debate regarding trends in consumption inequality in the United States. We present a new measure of consumption inequality based on the redesigned 1999–2011 PSID. We impute consumption to the families observed before 1999 using the more comprehensive consumption data available from 1999 onward. One advantage of this procedure is in sample verification of the quality of the imputation procedure; another is that it yields a long time series (1967–2010). Consumption inequality was stable in the 1970s, as was income inequality. It increased significantly after 1980. The Great Recession was associated with a decline in consumption inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Orazio Attanasio & Luigi Pistaferri, 2014. "Consumption Inequality over the Last Half Century: Some Evidence Using the New PSID Consumption Measure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 122-126, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:5:p:122-26
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.5.122
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2009. "Five Decades of Consumption and Income Poverty," Working Papers 0907, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    2. Skinner, Jonathan, 1987. "A superior measure of consumption from the panel study of income dynamics," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 213-216.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mariacristina De Nardi & Giulio Fella & Gonzalo Paz Pardo, 2016. "The Implications of Richer Earnings Dynamics for Consumption and Wealth," NBER Working Papers 21917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Peter Levell & James Smith, 2015. "Life-cycle consumption patterns at older ages in the US and the UK: can medical expenditures explain the difference?," IFS Working Papers W15/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    3. repec:eee:pubeco:v:159:y:2018:i:c:p:89-103 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Olga Gorbachev, 2016. "Has the Increased Attachment of Women to the Labor Market Changed a Family's Ability to Smooth Income Shocks?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 247-251, May.
    5. repec:spr:stmapp:v:26:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10260-016-0374-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Rupert, Peter & Zanella, Giulio, 2018. "Grandchildren and their grandparents' labor supply," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 89-103.
    7. Giacomo De Giorgi & Luca Gambetti, 2017. "Business Cycle Fluctuations and the Distribution of Consumption," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 23, pages 19-41, January.
    8. Pier Luigi Conti & Daniela Marella & Andrea Neri, 2017. "Statistical matching and uncertainty analysis in combining household income and expenditure data," Statistical Methods & Applications, Springer;Società Italiana di Statistica, vol. 26(3), pages 485-505, August.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises

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