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Testing the Permanent Income Hypothesis for Irish Households, 1994 to 2005

Listed author(s):
  • Petra Gerlach-Kristen

    (Swiss National Bank, Zürich)

The Permanent Income Hypothesis (PIH) states that consumption should depend on long-term income expectations and not on temporary swings in income. This paper uses Irish household data from three Household Budget Surveys between 1994 and 2005 to test the PIH. Households that fail to consume their permanent income may do so because they have no access to credit or because they save, be it for a rainy day, a purchase, bequests, or simply because saving conditions are attractive. We find some evidence for credit constraints, for instance for mortgage households in arrears in the mid-1990s. Furthermore, mortgage households during the housing boom consistently consumed less than predicted by their permanent income, which may be related to planned house purchases or the Special Savings Incentive Account scheme.

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Article provided by Economic and Social Studies in its journal Economic and Social Review.

Volume (Year): 45 (2014)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 511-535

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Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:45:y:2014:i:4:p:511-535
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  1. 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 971-987, December.
  2. Zeldes, Stephen P, 1989. "Consumption and Liquidity Constraints: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 305-346, April.
  3. Lydon, Reamonn & O'Hanlon, Niall, 2012. "Housing Equity Withdrawal, Property Bubbles and Consumption," Research Technical Papers 05/RT/12, Central Bank of Ireland.
  4. Campbell, John Y & Mankiw, N Gregory, 1990. "Permanent Income, Current Income, and Consumption," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(3), pages 265-279, July.
  5. Slacalek Jiri, 2009. "What Drives Personal Consumption? The Role of Housing and Financial Wealth," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-37, October.
  6. Benito, Andrew & Mumtaz, Haroon, 2009. "Excess Sensitivity, Liquidity Constraints, And The Collateral Role Of Housing," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(03), pages 305-326, June.
  7. John V. Duca & John Muellbauer & Anthony Murphy, 2011. "House Prices and Credit Constraints: Making Sense of the US Experience," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(552), pages 533-551, 05.
  8. Milton Friedman, 1957. "Introduction to "A Theory of the Consumption Function"," NBER Chapters,in: A Theory of the Consumption Function, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hogan, Vincent & O'Sullivan, Pat, 2007. "Consumption and House Prices in Ireland," Quarterly Economic Commentary: Special Articles, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), vol. 2007(3-Autumn), pages 46-61.
  10. Bernanke, Ben, 1985. "Adjustment costs, durables, and aggregate consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 41-68, January.
  11. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1, December.
  12. Fumio Hayashi, 1985. "The Effect of Liquidity Constraints on Consumption: A Cross-Sectional Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(1), pages 183-206.
  13. Tullio Jappelli, 1990. "Who is Credit Constrained in the U. S. Economy?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 219-234.
  14. Don Walshe & Dermot O’Leary, 2012. "Deleveraging, Banks and Economic Recovery in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 43(1), pages 165-197.
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