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Can Habit Formation be Reconciled with Business Cycle Facts?

  • Martin Lettau

    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York and CEPR)

  • Harald Uhlig

    (Tilburg University and CEPR)

Many asset pricing puzzles can be explained when habit formation is added to standard preferences. We show that utility functions with a habit then gives rise to a puzzle of consumption volatility in place of the asset pricing puzzles when agents can choose consumption and labor optimally in response to more fundamental shocks. We show that the consumption reaction to technology shocks are too small by an order of magnitude when a utility includes a consumption habit. Moreover, once a habit in leisure is included, labor input is counterfactually smooth over the cycle. In the case of habit in both consumption and leisure, labor input is even countercyclical. Consumption continues to be too smooth. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/redy.1998.0035
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 3 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 79-99

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:3:y:2000:i:1:p:79-99
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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 971-87, December.
  2. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  3. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," CRSP working papers 412, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  4. Lars Peter Hansen & Ravi Jagannathan, 1990. "Implications of Security Market Data for Models of Dynamic Economies," NBER Technical Working Papers 0089, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Campbell, John, 1994. "Inspecting the Mechanism: An Analytical Approach to the Stochastic Growth Model," Scholarly Articles 3196342, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
  7. A. Abel, 2010. "Asset prices under habit formation and catching up with the Jones," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1395, David K. Levine.
  8. Constantinides, George M, 1990. "Habit Formation: A Resolution of the Equity Premium Puzzle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 519-43, June.
  9. John H. Cochrane & Lars Peter Hansen, 1992. "Asset Pricing Explorations for Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 4088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
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