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Risky Habits and the Marginal Propensity to Consume Output of Permanent Income, or, How Much Would a Permanent Tax Cut Boost Japanese Consumption?

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  • D. Carroll Christopher

Abstract

Papers in a variety of disparate literatures have recently suggested that habit formation in consumption may explain several empirical puzzles, ranging from the level and cyclical variability of the equity premium (Abel, 1990, 1999: Constantinides, 1990; Jerman, 1998; Campbell and Cochrane, 1999) to the 'excess smoothness' of aggregate consumption (Fuhrer, 2000) to the apparent fact that increases in economic growth cause subsequent increase in aggregate saving rates (Carroll and Weil, 1994: Bosworth, 1993; Attanasio, Picci, and Scorceu, 2000; Rodrik, 1999; Layza, Schmidt-Hebbel, and Serven, 2000) This paper examines an implication of these models that has mostly been overlooked: Habits strong enough to solve these puzzles imply an immediate marginal propensity to consume out of permanent shocks of much lees than one. When the model is calibrated to roughly match the rise in the Japanese saving rate over the postwar periode, it implies that the immediate MPC out of Permanent tax cuts may be as low as 30 percent, suggesting that calls for a permanent income tax cut as a quick means of stimulating aggregate demand in Japan may be misguided. [D11, D81, D91, E10, E17, E21, H31]

Suggested Citation

  • D. Carroll Christopher, 2000. "Risky Habits and the Marginal Propensity to Consume Output of Permanent Income, or, How Much Would a Permanent Tax Cut Boost Japanese Consumption?," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 1-40.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intecj:v:14:y:2000:i:4:p:1-40
    DOI: 10.1080/10168730000000033
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Abel, Andrew B, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 38-42, May.
    2. Deaton, Angus, 1991. "Saving and Liquidity Constraints," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1221-1248, September.
    3. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1997. "The effects of economic and population growth on national saving and inequality," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 34(1), pages 97-114, February.
    4. Carroll, Christopher D. & Weil, David N., 1994. "Saving and growth: a reinterpretation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 133-192, June.
    5. Jody Overland & Christopher D. Carroll & David N. Weil, 2000. "Saving and Growth with Habit Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 341-355, June.
    6. Ohtake, F. & Horioka, C.Y., 1995. "Saving Motives in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0392, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    7. John Y. Campbell & John Cochrane, 1999. "Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 205-251, April.
    8. 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.
    9. Carroll, Christopher D & Kimball, Miles S, 1996. "On the Concavity of the Consumption Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(4), pages 981-992, July.
    10. Christopher D. Carroll, 1992. "The Buffer-Stock Theory of Saving: Some Macroeconomic Evidence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 61-156.
    11. Norman Loayza & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Luis Servén, 2000. "What Drives Private Saving Across the World?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 165-181, May.
    12. 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 519-543, June.
    13. Jermann, Urban J., 1998. "Asset pricing in production economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 257-275, April.
    14. Horioka, Charles Yuji & Watanabe, Wako, 1997. "Why Do People Save? A Micro-Analysis of Motives for Household Saving in Japan," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(442), pages 537-552, May.
    15. Campbell, John Y. & Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1991. "The response of consumption to income : A cross-country investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 723-756, May.
    16. Miles S. Kimball, 1990. "Precautionary Saving and the Marginal Propensity to Consume," NBER Working Papers 3403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Christopher D. Carroll & Lawrence H. Summers, 1991. "Consumption Growth Parallels Income Growth: Some New Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: National Saving and Economic Performance, pages 305-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Abel, Andrew B., 1999. "Risk premia and term premia in general equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 3-33, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Barrot, Jean-No�l & Loualiche, Erik & Plosser, Matthew & Sauvagnat, Julien, 2017. "Import Competition and Household Debt," CEPR Discussion Papers 12098, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. HORI Masahiro & SHIMIZUTANI Satoshi, 2002. "Micro Data Studies on Japanese Tax Policy and Consumption in the 1990s," ESRI Discussion paper series 014, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

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