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A structural model of consumption: An application to China during the global financial crisis

  • Voon, Jan P.
  • Voon, Jan Cham
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    In this paper, we develop a structural model of consumption by incorporating psychological constructs which constitute important antecedents of household consumption and provide crucial structural linkages to the mental accounting evaluation of saving or consumption. Our model is tested using structural equation modeling (SEM). The model is applied to China for measuring consumption expenditure under uncertainty emanating from the 2008 global financial crisis. An empirical test using 9784 new Chinese household survey data show that our structural model is a significant improvement over the existing behavioral life cycle model, as it is able to capture the psychological states affecting different groups of consumers such as employed workers and unemployed retirees. Our new structural model of consumption fits the data very well. The results have important implications for public policy assessment.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

    Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 284-288

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:41:y:2012:i:3:p:284-288
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    1. George Loewenstein, 2000. "Emotions in Economic Theory and Economic Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 426-432, May.
    2. Claessens, Stijn & Kose, Ayhan & Terrones, Marco E, 2008. "What Happens During Recessions, Crunches and Busts?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7085, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Christopher D. Carroll, 2001. "A Theory of the Consumption Function, with and without Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 23-45, Summer.
    4. Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244.
    5. Bechara, Antoine & Damasio, Antonio R., 2005. "The somatic marker hypothesis: A neural theory of economic decision," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 336-372, August.
    6. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-87, December.
    7. Thaler, Richard H, 1994. "Psychology and Savings Policies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 186-92, May.
    8. Daniel Kahneman, 2003. "Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1449-1475, December.
    9. Shefrin, Hersh M & Thaler, Richard H, 1988. "The Behavioral Life-Cycle Hypothesis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 609-43, October.
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