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Household Expenditure and the Income Tax Rebates of 2001

  • Nicholas S. Souleles
  • Jonathan A. Parker
  • David S. Johnson

Using questions expressly added to the Consumer Expenditure Survey, we estimate the change in consumption expenditures caused by the 2001 federal income tax rebates and test the permanent income hypothesis. We exploit the unique, randomized timing of rebate receipt across households. Households spent 20 to 40 percent of their rebates on nondurable goods during the three-month period in which their rebates arrived, and roughly two-thirds of their rebates cumulatively during this period and the subsequent three-month period. The implied effects on aggregate consumption demand are substantial. Consistent with liquidity constraints, responses are larger for households with low liquid wealth or low income. (JEL D12, D91, E21, E62, H24, H31)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.96.5.1589
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/dec06/20040878_data.zip
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 96 (2006)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1589-1610

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:96:y:2006:i:5:p:1589-1610
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.96.5.1589
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  1. 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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  10. Sumit Agarwal & Chunlin Liu & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2007. "The Reaction of Consumer Spending and Debt to Tax Rebates-Evidence from Consumer Credit Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 986-1019, December.
  11. 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.
  12. Martin Browning & M. Dolores Collado, 2001. "The Response of Expenditures to Anticipated Income Changes: Panel Data Estimates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 681-692, June.
  13. Melvin Stephens Jr., 2002. "'3rd of tha Month': Do Social Security Recipients Smooth Consumption Between Checks?," NBER Working Papers 9135, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Christopher D. Carroll, 1992. "The Buffer-Stock Theory of Saving: Some Macroeconomic Evidence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 61-156.
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  17. David W. Wilcox, 1990. "Income tax refunds and the timing of consumption expenditure," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 106, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  18. Souleles, Nicholas S, 2004. "Expectations, Heterogeneous Forecast Errors, and Consumption: Micro Evidence from the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Surveys," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(1), pages 39-72, February.
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  22. repec:rus:hseeco:95340 is not listed on IDEAS
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