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Desempleo y Consumo en Chile

  • Claudio Soto G.

This article presents an empirical study of the effect of unemployment on aggregate consumption of nondurable goods in Chile for 1990-2002. Using an error-correction model, the results show that unemployment lags have a negative and statistically significant sort-run impact on consumption growth. Three hypotheses that relate unemployment and consumption are also analyzed. First, it is shown that unemployment is not a good predictor of future disposable income. Therefore, it does not signal changes in permanent income. Moreover, the results do not support the implications of the certainty-equivalence version of the permanent income hypothesis. Second, there is evidence that unemployment affects income volatility. Hence, the relationship between unemployment and consumption could be explained by the precautionary savings motive. However, for this mechanism to be consistent with the fact that unemployment has a negative impact on consumption growth, the effect of uncertainty on consumption must be persistent. Finally, there is also evidence that unemployment could affect consumption through its effect on income distribution. However, the latter result is not robust.

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Article provided by Central Bank of Chile in its journal Economía Chilena.

Volume (Year): 7 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 31-50

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Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchec:v:7:y:2004:i:1:p:31-50
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  1. Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Consumption and Liquidity Constraints: An Empirical Investigation," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 16-88, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  2. Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Luis Serven, 2000. "Policy Shifts and External Shocks in Chile Under Rational Expectations," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1098, Econometric Society.
  3. Malley, James R & Moutos, Thomas, 1996. "Unemployment and Consumption," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(4), pages 584-600, October.
  4. Christopher D. Carroll & Andrew A. Samwick, 1993. "How important is precautionary saving?," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 145, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Lusardi, Annamaria, 1997. "Precautionary saving and subjective earnings variance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 319-326, December.
  6. 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.
  7. Dynan, Karen E, 1993. "How Prudent Are Consumers?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 1104-13, December.
  8. Engen, Eric M. & Gruber, Jonathan, 2001. "Unemployment insurance and precautionary saving," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 545-579, June.
  9. Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1996. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Discussion Papers 96-01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  10. Johansen, Soren, 1991. "Estimation and Hypothesis Testing of Cointegration Vectors in Gaussian Vector Autoregressive Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1551-80, November.
  11. Karen E. Dynan, 1993. "How prudent are consumers?," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 135, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Andrea Butelmann & Francisco Gallego, 2001. "Estimaciones de los Determinantes del Ahorro Voluntario de los Hogares en Chile (1988 Y 1997)," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 97, Central Bank of Chile.
  13. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1992. "Earnings uncertainty and precautionary saving," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 307-337, November.
  14. Lusardi, Annamaria, 1998. "On the Importance of the Precautionary Saving Motive," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 449-53, May.
  15. Caballero, Ricardo J., 1990. "Consumption puzzles and precautionary savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 113-136, January.
  16. Daron Acemoglu & Andrew Scott, 1993. "Consumer Confidence and Rational Expectations: Are Agents Beliefs Consistent with the Theory?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0119, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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