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Consumption And Credit: A Model Of Time-Varying Liquidity Constraints

  • Sydney Ludvigson

This paper studies the optimal consumption behavior of individuals who face borrowing limitations that vary stochastically with their income. This framework is motivated by new empirical evidence that I document in U.S. aggregate data: predictable growth in consumer credit is significantly related to consumption growth, a finding that is inconsistent with existing models of consumer behavior. The time-varying liquidity constraint model considered here correctly predicts two key properties of the U.S. aggregate data: the correlation of consumption growth with predictable credit growth documented in this paper, and the well-known correlation between consumption growth and predictable income growth that has been documented extensively elsewhere. © 1999 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 81 (1999)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 434-447

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:81:y:1999:i:3:p:434-447
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  1. Christopher D. Carroll, 1991. "Buffer stock saving and the permanent income hypothesis," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 114, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  3. Zeldes, Stephen P, 1989. "Consumption and Liquidity Constraints: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 305-46, April.
  4. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1994. "The Financial Accelerator and the Flight to Quality," Working Papers 94-24, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  5. Deaton, A., 1989. "Saving And Liquidity Constraints," Papers 153, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  6. Carroll, Christopher D & Fuhrer, Jeffrey C & Wilcox, David W, 1994. "Does Consumer Sentiment Forecast Household Spending? If So, Why?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1397-1408, December.
  7. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  8. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1988. "Consumption and Capital Market Imperfection: An International Comparison," CEPR Discussion Papers 244, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
  10. 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.
  11. Mervyn Allister King, 1993. "Debt Deflation: Theory and Evidence," FMG Discussion Papers dp175, Financial Markets Group.
  12. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1983. "Stochastic Consumption, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Asset Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 249-65, April.
  13. 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.
  14. MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
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