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Habit Formation in Consumption and Its Implications for Monetary-Policy Models

  • Jeffrey C. Fuhrer

This paper explores a monetary-policy model with habit formation for consumers, in which consumers' utility depends in part on current consumption relative to past consumption. The empirical tests developed in the paper show that one can reject the hypothesis of no habit formation with tremendous confidence, largely because the habit-formation model captures the gradual hump-shaped response of real spending to various shocks. The paper then embeds the habit-consumption specification in a monetary-policy model and finds that the responses of both spending and inflation to monetary-policy actions are significantly improved by this modification.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.90.3.367
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 90 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 367-390

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:90:y:2000:i:3:p:367-390
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.90.3.367
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  1. Loayza, N. & Schmidt, K. & Serven, L., 1999. "What Drives Private Saving Across the World?," Papers 47, Cambridge - Risk, Information & Quantity Signals.
  2. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1989. "Does Monetary Policy Matter? A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz," NBER Working Papers 2966, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1986. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," NBER Working Papers 1885, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Orazio P. Attanasio & Lucio Picci & Antonello E. Scorcu, 2000. "Saving, Growth, and Investment: A Macroeconomic Analysis Using a Panel of Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 182-211, May.
  5. King, Robert G. & Wolman, Alexander L., 2013. "Inflation Targeting in a St. Louis Model of the 21st Century," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 543-574.
  6. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 1997. "An Optimizing IS-LM Specification for Monetary Policy and Business Cycle Analysis," NBER Working Papers 5875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Kenneth D. West & David W. Wilcox, 1993. "Some evidence on finite sample behavior of an instrumental variables estimator of the linear quadratic inventory model," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 93-29, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Wilcox, David W, 1992. "The Construction of U.S. Consumption Data: Some Facts and Their Implications for Empirical Work," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 922-41, September.
  9. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  10. Fuhrer, Jeff & Moore, George, 1992. "Monetary policy rules and the indicator properties of asset prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 303-336, April.
  11. Christopher D. Carroll & David N. Weil, 1993. "Saving and Growth: A Reinterpretation," NBER Working Papers 4470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. A. Abel, 2010. "Asset prices under habit formation and catching up with the Jones," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1395, David K. Levine.
  13. John Campbell & Angus Deaton, 1989. "Why is Consumption So Smooth?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(3), pages 357-373.
  14. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer & George R. Moore & Scott Schuh, 1993. "Estimating the linear-quadratic inventory model: maximum likelihood versus generalized method of moments," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 93-11, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  15. Bernanke, Ben S & Blinder, Alan S, 1992. "The Federal Funds Rate and the Channels of Monetary Transmission," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 901-21, September.
  16. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  17. Harald Uhlig & Lars Ljungqvist, 2000. "Tax Policy and Aggregate Demand Management under Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 356-366, June.
  18. Arturo Estrella & Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2002. "Dynamic Inconsistencies: Counterfactual Implications of a Class of Rational-Expectations Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1013-1028, September.
  19. Christopher D. Carroll & Jody Overland & David N. Weil, 1995. "Saving and growth with habit formation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  20. Anderson, Gary & Moore, George, 1985. "A linear algebraic procedure for solving linear perfect foresight models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 247-252.
  21. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 185-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. repec:oup:restud:v:56:y:1989:i:3:p:357-73 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Karen E. Dynan, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumer Preferences: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 391-406, June.
  25. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 1994. "Identification and the effects of monetary policy shocks," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 94-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  26. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1991. "Identification and the Liquidity Effect of a Monetary Policy Shock," NBER Working Papers 3920, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Jermann, Urban J., 1998. "Asset pricing in production economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 257-275, April.
  28. John M. Roberts, 1994. "Is inflation sticky?," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 152, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  29. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. 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.
  31. Eric M. Leeper & Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1996. "What Does Monetary Policy Do?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 1-78.
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