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Paycheque Receipt and the Timing of Consumption

  • Stephens Melvin

This article examines the consumption response to monthly paycheque receipt. Since the amount and arrival date of paycheques are known in advance, the receipt of a paycheque does not coincide with the receipt of new information. Under the basic rational expectations Life-Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis, household consumption should not respond to paycheque arrival. Using data from the UK's Family Expenditure Survey, this article finds that household consumption is excessively sensitive to paycheque receipt. The results cannot be explained by any underlying monthly expenditure fluctuations common to all households. The presence of liquidity constraints as measured by wealth and age can account for the excess sensitivity results. Copyright 2006 The Author. Journal compilation Royal Economic Society 2006.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 116 (2006)
Issue (Month): 513 (07)
Pages: 680-701

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:116:y:2006:i:513:p:680-701
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