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Decomposing changes in income risk using consumption data

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  • Richard Blundell
  • Hamish Low
  • Ian Preston

Abstract

This paper concerns the decomposition of income risk into permanent and transitory components using repeated cross-section data on income and consumption. Our focus is on the detection of changes in the magnitudes of variances of permanent and transitory risks. A new approximation to the optimal consumption growth rule is developed. Evidence from a dynamic stochastic simulation is used to show that this approximation can provide a robust method for decomposing income risk in a nonstationary environment. We examine robustness to unobserved heterogeneity in consumption growth and to unobserved heterogeneity in income growth. We use this approach to investigate the growth in income inequality in the UK in the 1980s.
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Suggested Citation

  • Richard Blundell & Hamish Low & Ian Preston, 2013. "Decomposing changes in income risk using consumption data," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 4(1), pages 1-37, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:quante:v:4:y:2013:i:1:p:1-37
    DOI: QE44
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    Cited by:

    1. Christopher D. Carroll, 2004. "Theoretical Foundations of Buffer Stock Saving," Economics Working Paper Archive 517, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    2. Baugh, Brian & Ben-David, Itzhak & Park, Hoonsuk, 2013. "Disentangling Financial Constraints, Precautionary Savings, and Myopia: Household Behavior Surrounding Federal Tax Returns," Working Paper Series 2013-20, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
    3. Jeanne Commault, 2016. "How Does Nondurable Consumption Respond To Transitory Income Shocks? Reconciling Natural Experiments and Structural Estimations," Working Papers hal-01328904, HAL.
    4. repec:bla:obuest:v:79:y:2017:i:5:p:717-746 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:wly:quante:v:8:y:2017:i:3:p:977-1020 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Lochner, Lance & Monge-Naranjo, Alexander, 2014. "Student Loans and Repayment: Theory, Evidence and Policy," Working Papers 2014-40, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 12 Nov 2014.
    7. Richard Blundell & Luigi Pistaferri & Itay Saporta-Eksten, 2016. "Consumption Inequality and Family Labor Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(2), pages 387-435, February.
    8. John Sabelhaus & Samuel Ackerman, 2012. "The effect of self-reported transitory income shocks on household spending," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-64, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    9. Orazio Attanasio & Costas Meghir & Corina Mommaerts, 2015. "Insurance in extended family networks," NBER Working Papers 21059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Brewer, Mike & O'Dea, Cormac, 2012. "Measuring living standards with income and consumption: evidence from the UK," ISER Working Paper Series 2012-05, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    11. Bick, Alexander & Choi, Sekyu, 2013. "Revisiting the effect of household size on consumption over the life-cycle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 2998-3011.
    12. Brown, Sarah & Gray, Daniel & Harris, Mark N. & Spencer, Christopher, 2016. "Portfolio Allocation, Income Uncertainty and Households' Flight from Risk," IZA Discussion Papers 10408, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Mike Brewer & Cormac O'Dea, 2012. "Measuring living standards with income and consumption: evidence from the UK," IFS Working Papers W12/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    14. Etheridge, Ben, 2015. "A test of the household income process using consumption and wealth data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 129-157.
    15. Carroll, Christopher D., 2009. "Precautionary saving and the marginal propensity to consume out of permanent income," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 780-790, September.
    16. THELOUDIS Alexandros, 2017. "Consumption Inequality across Heterogeneous Families," LISER Working Paper Series 2017-18, LISER.
    17. Christopher Carroll & Jiri Slacalek & Kiichi Tokuoka & Matthew N. White, 2017. "The distribution of wealth and the marginal propensity to consume," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(3), pages 977-1020, November.
    18. Chan, Kenneth S. & Lai, Jennifer T. & Yan, Isabel K.M., 2014. "Consumption risk sharing and self-insurance across provinces in China: 1952–2008," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 66-85.
    19. Thomas H. Jørgensen, 2017. "Life-Cycle Consumption and Children: Evidence from a Structural Estimation," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 79(5), pages 717-746, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C30 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - General
    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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