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Uncertainty and the Timing of Automobile Purchases

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  • Hassler, John

Abstract

Earlier studies have shown that lumpy investment models well characterize individual expenditures on durables, in particular automobiles. In this class of models, a higher level of uncertainty generally implies that the household should tolerate a larger imbalance between the actual stock of the durable and the target stock before adjusting it by buying and/or selling. Then, if the level of uncertainty increases, aggregate expenditures would temporarily fall. This hypothesis is tested by estimating an aggregate lumpy investment model on automobile expenditure data, using stock market volatility to proxy uncertainty. The result is that expenditures fall significantly as stock market volatility increases. Copyright 2001 by The editors of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Hassler, John, 2001. " Uncertainty and the Timing of Automobile Purchases," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(2), pages 351-366, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:103:y:2001:i:2:p:351-66
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    Cited by:

    1. Marc Joëts & Valérie Mignon & Tovonony Razafindrabe, 2015. "Does the volatility of commodity prices reflect macroeconomic uncertainty?," EconomiX Working Papers 2015-7, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    2. Ruediger Bachmann & Christian Bayer, 2009. "Firm-Specific Productivity Risk over the Business Cycle: Facts and Aggregate Implications," 2009 Meeting Papers 869, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Giuseppe Bertola & Luigi Guiso & Luigi Pistaferri, 2005. "Uncertainty and Consumer Durables Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(4), pages 973-1007.
    4. Beetsma, Roel & Giuliodori, Massimo, 2012. "The changing macroeconomic response to stock market volatility shocks," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 281-293.
    5. Joëts, Marc & Mignon, Valérie & Razafindrabe, Tovonony, 2017. "Does the volatility of commodity prices reflect macroeconomic uncertainty?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 313-326.
    6. D’Haultfœuille, Xavier & Durrmeyer, Isis & Février, Philippe, 2016. "Disentangling sources of vehicle emissions reduction in France: 2003–2008," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 186-229.
    7. Bachmann, Rüdiger & Bayer, Christian, 2013. "‘Wait-and-See’ business cycles?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(6), pages 704-719.
    8. Edward S. Knotek II & Shujaat Khan, 2011. "How do households respond to uncertainty shocks?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II.
    9. Ryan Kellogg, 2014. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Investment: Evidence from Texas Oil Drilling," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(6), pages 1698-1734, June.
    10. Joëts, Marc & Mignon, Valérie & Razafindrabe, Tovonony, 2017. "Does the volatility of commodity prices reflect macroeconomic uncertainty?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 313-326.
    11. Marta Lachowska, 2013. "Expenditure, Confidence, and Uncertainty: Identifying Shocks to Consumer Confidence Using Daily Data," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 13-197, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    12. D'Haultfoeuille, Xavier & Durrmeyer, Isis & Février, Philippe, 2013. "The Effect of Public Policies on Consumers' Preferences: Lessons from the French Automobile Market," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 422, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.

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