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Empirical Proxies for the Consumption-Wealth Ratio

Author

Listed:
  • Jeremy Rudd

    (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)

  • Karl Whelan

    (Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland)

Abstract

Using a log-linearized approximation to an aggregate budget constraint, it is possible to show that the ratio of consumption to total (human and non-human) wealth summarizes agents' expectations concerning both future labor income and future asset returns. In a series of recent papers, Lettau and Ludvigson construct an empirical analogue to the consumption-wealth ratio by approximating total wealth with a linear combination of labor income and observable non-human wealth. If valid, this framework suggests that consumption, assets, and labor income will be cointegrated. We demonstrate, however, that standard tests fail to reject the hypothesis of no cointegration once one employs measures of consumption, assets, and labor income that are jointly consistent with an underlying budget constraint. We also show that deviations of consumption, assets, and income from an estimated common trend are unable to predict future excess returns on stocks out of sample once theoretically consistent measures are used. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Jeremy Rudd & Karl Whelan, 2006. "Empirical Proxies for the Consumption-Wealth Ratio," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(1), pages 34-51, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:9:y:2006:i:1:p:34-51
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2005.08.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. MacKinnon, James G & Haug, Alfred A & Michelis, Leo, 1999. "Numerical Distribution Functions of Likelihood Ratio Tests for Cointegration," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(5), pages 563-577, Sept.-Oct.
    2. Lettau, Martin & Ludvigson, Sydney, 2002. "Time-varying risk premia and the cost of capital: An alternative implication of the Q theory of investment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 31-66, January.
    3. John Y. Campbell & Pierre Perron, 1991. "Pitfalls and Opportunities: What Macroeconomists Should Know About Unit Roots," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6, pages 141-220 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    5. Palumbo, Michael & Rudd, Jeremy & Whelan, Karl, 2006. "On the Relationships Between Real Consumption, Income, and Wealth," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 24, pages 1-11, January.
    6. Martin Lettau & Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2004. "Understanding Trend and Cycle in Asset Values: Reevaluating the Wealth Effect on Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 276-299, March.
    7. Johansen, Soren & Juselius, Katarina, 1990. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation and Inference on Cointegration--With Applications to the Demand for Money," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 52(2), pages 169-210, May.
    8. John Y. Campbell & Samuel B. Thompson, 2005. "Predicting the Equity Premium Out of Sample: Can Anything Beat the Historical Average?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2084, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    9. Brennan, Michael J. & Xia, Yihong, 2005. "tay's as good as cay," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-14, March.
    10. Wayne E. Ferson & Sergei Sarkissian & Timothy T. Simin, 2003. "Spurious Regressions in Financial Economics?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(4), pages 1393-1414, August.
    11. Hansen, Bruce E., 1992. "Efficient estimation and testing of cointegrating vectors in the presence of deterministic trends," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1-3), pages 87-121.
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    16. Campbell, John Y, 1993. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing without Consumption Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 487-512, June.
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    18. Lettau, Martin & Ludvigson, Sydney C., 2005. "tay's as good as cay: Reply," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 15-22, March.
    19. Ivo Welch & Amit Goyal, 2008. "A Comprehensive Look at The Empirical Performance of Equity Premium Prediction," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 1455-1508, July.
    20. Dale W. Jorgenson & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2000. "Raising the Speed Limit: U.S. Economic Growth in the Information Age," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 125-236.
    21. Martin Lettau & Sydney Ludvigson, 2001. "Resurrecting the (C)CAPM: A Cross-Sectional Test When Risk Premia Are Time-Varying," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(6), pages 1238-1287, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Budget constraint; Return forecastability; Cointegration; cay;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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