IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Long-Run Consumption Effects Of Earnings Shocks


  • Melvin Stephens


Although prior studies of job displacement and disability have measured the impact of these shocks in terms of lost earnings, no previous research has linked these permanent earnings shocks to the long-run consumption smoothing behavior of these households. Because consumption is generally considered a better measure of well-being than is income, understanding the link between these earnings shocks and consumption is important in trying to gauge the magnitude of the long-run impact caused by such events. Using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, the analysis finds the percentage change in consumption is generally less than that of the head's earnings and total family income, especially at the time of the shock. The results also indicate that displaced households respond to an increase in the probability of future job losses by reducing their consumption prior to a job loss. These results suggest that only focusing on earnings overestimates the impact of these shocks on household wellbeing. 2000 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Suggested Citation

  • Melvin Stephens, 2001. "The Long-Run Consumption Effects Of Earnings Shocks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 28-36, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:83:y:2001:i:1:p:28-36

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:83:y:2001:i:1:p:28-36. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Kelly McDougall (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.