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Empirical Proxies for the Consumption-Wealth Ratio

  • Jeremy Rudd

    (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)

  • Karl Whelan

    (Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland)

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)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2005.08.003
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 9 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 34-51

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:9:y:2006:i:1:p:34-51
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  1. John Y. Campbell, 1992. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing Without Consumption Data," NBER Working Papers 3989, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lettau, Martin & Ludvigson, Sydney, 2001. "Time-Varying Risk Premia and the Cost of Capital: An Alternative Implication of the Q Theory of Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 3103, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
  4. 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.
  5. Johansen, Soren, 1995. "Likelihood-Based Inference in Cointegrated Vector Autoregressive Models," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774501, March.
  6. 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.
  7. John Y. Campbell & Samuel B. Thompson, 2005. "Predicting the Equity Premium Out of Sample: Can Anything Beat the Historical Average?," NBER Working Papers 11468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Campbell, John & Perron, Pierre, 1991. "Pitfalls and Opportunities: What Macroeconomists Should Know about Unit Roots," Scholarly Articles 3374863, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. 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.
  10. Brennan, Michael J. & Xia, Yihong, 2005. "tay's as good as cay," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-14, March.
  11. Wayne E. Ferson & Sergei Sarkissian & Timothy Simin, 2002. "Spurious Regressions in Financial Economics?," NBER Working Papers 9143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. James G. MacKinnon & Alfred A. Haug & Leo Michelis, 1996. "Numerical Distribution Functions of Likelihood Ratio Tests for Cointegration," Working Papers 1996_07, York University, Department of Economics.
  13. Lettau, Martin & Ludvigson, Sydney C., 2005. "tay's as good as cay: Reply," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 15-22, March.
  14. Amit Goyal & Ivo Welch, 2004. "A Comprehensive Look at the Empirical Performance of Equity Premium Prediction," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2412, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Jan 2006.
  15. John Y. Campbell, 1995. "Understanding Risk and Return," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1711, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Osterwald-Lenum, Michael, 1992. "A Note with Quantiles of the Asymptotic Distribution of the Maximum Likelihood Cointegration Rank Test Statistics," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 54(3), pages 461-72, August.
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