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Habit formation and the present-value model of the current account: Yet another suspect

  • Kano, Takashi

In a recent paper, Gruber (Gruber, J.W., 2004. A present value test of habits and the current account. Journal of Monetary Economics 51, 1495-1507) claims that habit formation in consumption plays an important role in current account fluctuations in selected developed countries, extending the present-value model of the current account (PVM) with consumption habits. In this paper, however, I show that the habit-forming PVM is observationally equivalent to the PVM augmented with persistent transitory consumption, which is induced by world real interest rate shocks. Based on a small open-economy real business cycle (SOE-RBC) model endowed with consumption habits as well as persistent world real interest rate shocks, this paper resolves the inherent identification problem of the habit-forming PVM by Bayesian methods to seek effects of habit formation on current account fluctuations in typical small open economies, Canada and the United Kingdom. Results reveal no clear evidence that habit formation plays a crucial role in current account fluctuations.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 78 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 72-85

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Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:78:y:2009:i:1:p:72-85
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552

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  1. Hafedh Bouakez & Takashi Kano, 2006. "Learning-by-Doing or Habit Formation?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(3), pages 508-524, July.
  2. James M. Nason and John H. Rogers, 2001. "The Present Value Model of the Current Account Has Been Rejected: Round Up the Usual Subjects," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 102, Society for Computational Economics.
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  12. Otrok, C. & Ravikumar, B. & Whiteman, C., 1998. "Habit Formation: A Resolution of the Equity Premium Puzzle?," Working Papers 98-04, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  13. Sheffrin, S.M. & Woo, W.T., 1989. "Present Value Tests Of An Intertemporal Model Of The Current Account," Papers 61, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
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  18. Karen E. Dynan, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumer Preferences: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 391-406, June.
  19. Bouakez, Hafedh & Kano, Takashi, 2008. "Terms of trade and current account fluctuations: The Harberger-Laursen-Metzler effect revisited," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 260-281, March.
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  25. Blankenau, William & Ayhan Kose, M. & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2001. "Can world real interest rates explain business cycles in a small open economy?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(6-7), pages 867-889, June.
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