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Consumption over the Life Cycle and over the Business Cycle

  • Attanasio, Orazio P
  • Browning, Martin

The authors assess the empirical validity of the life-cycle model using a time series of cross sections and a novel parametrization of preferences. The main findings are as follows: the excess sensitivity of consumption growth to labor income disappears when the authors control for demographic variables; the elasticity of intertemporal substitution (EIS) is a function of several variables, including the level of consumption, and the EIS increases with the level of consumption; and the variables that change the EIS are also important in explaining excess sensitivity over the business cycle. The authors are able to reconcile their results with those in the macro and micro literature. Copyright 1995 by American Economic Association.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 85 (1995)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1118-37

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:85:y:1995:i:5:p:1118-37
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  1. Sanford J. Grossman & Robert J. Shiller, 1981. "Consumption Correlatedness and Risk Measurement in Economies with Non trade Assets and Heterogeneous Information," NBER Working Papers 0690, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Chamberlain, Gary, 1984. "Panel data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1247-1318 Elsevier.
  4. Altonji, Joseph G & Siow, Aloysius, 1987. "Testing the Response of Consumption to Income Changes with (Noisy) Panel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 293-328, May.
  5. 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.
  6. Martin J. Browning, 1989. "The Intertemporal Allocation of Expenditure on Non-durables, Services, and Durables," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 22(1), pages 22-36, February.
  7. Campbell, John Y. & Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1990. "Permanent Income, Current Income, and Consumption," Scholarly Articles 3353762, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Browning, Martin, 1993. "Estimating micro parameters from macro data alone: some pessimistic evidence," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 253-267, September.
  9. 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.
  10. Chris Carroll & Lawrence H. Summers, 1989. "Consumption Growth Parallels Income Growth: Some New Evidence," NBER Working Papers 3090, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-57, April.
  12. Campbell, John Y, 1987. "Does Saving Anticipate Declining Labor Income? An Alternative Test of the Permanent Income Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1249-73, November.
  13. Browning, Martin & Deaton, Angus & Irish, Margaret, 1985. "A Profitable Approach to Labor Supply and Commodity Demands over the Life-Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(3), pages 503-43, May.
  14. White, Betsy Buttrill, 1978. "Empirical Tests of the Life Cycle Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(4), pages 547-60, September.
  15. B. Douglas Bernheim & John B. Shoven, 1991. "National Saving and Economic Performance," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bern91-2, September.
  16. Campbell, John Y. & Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1991. "The response of consumption to income : A cross-country investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 723-756, May.
  17. Blundell, R. & Browning, M. & Meghir, C., 1989. "A Microeconometric Model Of Intertemporal Substitution And Consumer Demand," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 324, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  18. Stoker, Thomas M, 1984. "Completeness, Distribution Restrictions, and the Form of Aggregate Functions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 887-907, July.
  19. Hall, Robert E & Mishkin, Frederic S, 1982. "The Sensitivity of Consumption to Transitory Income: Estimates from Panel Data on Households," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(2), pages 461-81, March.
  20. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1982. "Generalized Instrumental Variables Estimation of Nonlinear Rational Expectations Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1269-86, September.
  21. Blundell, Richard & Pashardes, Panos & Weber, Guglielmo, 1993. "What Do We Learn About Consumer Demand Patterns from Micro Data?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 570-97, June.
  22. 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.
  23. Attanasio, Orazio P & Weber, Guglielmo, 1993. "Consumption Growth, the Interest Rate and Aggregation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 631-49, July.
  24. Blinder, Alan S, 1975. "Distribution Effects and the Aggregate Consumption Function," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(3), pages 447-75, June.
  25. 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.
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