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Measuring noise in the Permanent Income Hypothesis

  • Engsted, Tom

Based on a number of deviation measures, Kim (1996) finds that postwar US consumption deviates from the Permanent Income Hypothesis (PIH) by only around 4 percent. In the present paper we investigate in more detail the extent to which the PIH provides a good approximation to US consumption data. We point out some unappealing features in the methods suggested by Kim, and we propose a method that does not have these drawbacks. In particular, we argue that due to the non-stationarity that characterizes consumption and income, deviation measure should be expressed in terms of saving rather than consumption. By applying our proposed method we find that in general US saving deviates fromPIH saving by substantially more than 4 percent. We also document that the behavior of US consumption in the 1990s has turned saving into a non-stationary process, which is strongly at odds with the PIH.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 24 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 353-370

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:24:y:2002:i:3:p:353-370
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622617

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  1. Campbell, John Y, 1987. "Does Saving Anticipate Declining Labor Income? An Alternative Test of the Permanent Income Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1249-73, November.
  2. Sims, Christopher A & Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 1990. "Inference in Linear Time Series Models with Some Unit Roots," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 113-44, January.
  3. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1986. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," NBER Working Papers 1885, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Watson, Mark W, 1993. "Measures of Fit for Calibrated Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 1011-41, December.
  5. Sydney Ludvigson & Charles Steindel, 1999. "How important is the stock market effect on consumption?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jul, pages 29-51.
  6. Francis X. Diebold & Lee E. Ohanian & Jeremy Berkowitz, 1997. "Dynamic equilibrium economies: a framework for comparing models and data," Working Papers 97-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  7. Steven N. Durlauf & Robert E. Hall, 1989. "Bounds on the Variances of Specification Errors in Models with Expectations," NBER Working Papers 2936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Lars Peter Hansen & Ravi Jagannathan, 1994. "Assessing Specification Errors in Stochastic Discount Factor Models," NBER Technical Working Papers 0153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Engsted, Tom, 1998. "Money Demand During Hyperinflation: Cointegration, Rational Expectations, and the Importance of Money Demand Shocks," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 533-552, July.
  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. Sydney Ludvigson & Martin Lettau, 1999. "Consumption, aggregate wealth and expected stock returns," Staff Reports 77, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  12. John Campbell & Angus Deaton, 1989. "Why is Consumption So Smooth?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(3), pages 357-373.
  13. Gali, Jordi, 1991. "Budget Constraints and Time-Series Evidence on Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1238-53, December.
  14. Kenneth D. West, 1987. "The Insensitivity of Consumption to News About Income," NBER Working Papers 2252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Marjorie Flavin, 1993. "The Excess Smoothness of Consumption: Identification and Interpretation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 651-666.
  16. Flavin, Marjorie A, 1983. "Excess Volatility in the Financial Markets: A Reassessment of the Empirical Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(6), pages 929-56, December.
  17. Kim, Chulsoo, 1996. "Measuring Deviations from the Permanent Income Hypothesis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(1), pages 205-25, February.
  18. Flavin, Marjorie A, 1981. "The Adjustment of Consumption to Changing Expectations about Future Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 974-1009, October.
  19. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
  20. Campbell, John Y. & Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1991. "The response of consumption to income : A cross-country investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 723-756, May.
  21. Richard Peach & Charles Steindel, 2000. "A nation of spendthrifts? An analysis of trends in personal and gross saving," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 6(Sep).
  22. Engsted, Tom & Haldrup, Niels, 1999. "Estimating the LQAC Model with I(2) Variables," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(2), pages 155-70, March-Apr.
  23. Gali, Jordi, 1990. "Finite horizons, life-cycle savings, and time-series evidence on consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 433-452, December.
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