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The Consumer Response to the Mexican Peso Crisis

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  • David J. McKenzie

Abstract

Household expenditure surveys are used to examine the effects of the Mexican peso crisis on household consumption. The main smoothing mechanism was a change in the composition of consumption, with households reducing semidurable spending to maintain basic food levels. This article provides a method for disentangling income, price, demographic, and crisis adjustment effects and finds that households increased their expenditure share on certain basic food items even more than Engel’s law and relative price changes would predict. I hypothesize that this reflects the use of semidurables as an adjustment mechanism and show that this leads to changes in the shape and position of the Engel curves. However, the article cannot fully rule out the alternative explanation that the reduction in semidurables reflects households reducing semidurable stocks due to a perceived fall in permanent income from the crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • David J. McKenzie, 2006. "The Consumer Response to the Mexican Peso Crisis," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55, pages 139-172.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:v:55:y:2006:p:139-172
    DOI: 10.1086/505721
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Browning, Martin & Meghir, Costas, 1991. "The Effects of Male and Female Labor Supply on Commodity Demands," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 925-951, July.
    2. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1980. "An Almost Ideal Demand System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 312-326, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Raphael Nawrotzki & Fernando Riosmena & Lori Hunter, 2013. "Do Rainfall Deficits Predict U.S.-Bound Migration from Rural Mexico? Evidence from the Mexican Census," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 32(1), pages 129-158, February.
    2. Anna D'Souza & Dean Jolliffe, 2012. "Rising Food Prices and Coping Strategies: Household-level Evidence from Afghanistan," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(2), pages 282-299, August.
    3. Brown, Martin, 2013. "The transmission of banking crises to households : lessons from the 2008-2011 crises in the ECA region," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6528, The World Bank.
    4. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Schady, Norbert, 2008. "Aggregate economic shocks, child schooling and child health," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4701, The World Bank.
    5. Gibson, John & Stillman, Steven & Le, Trinh, 2008. "CPI bias and real living standards in Russia during the transition," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 140-160, August.
    6. Gulsah ATAGAN & Suleyman YUKCU, 2013. "Effect of Packing Cost on The Sales Price and Contribution Margin," Ege Academic Review, Ege University Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, vol. 13(1), pages 1-9.
    7. Filho, Irineu de Carvalho & Chamon, Marcos, 2012. "The myth of post-reform income stagnation: Evidence from Brazil and Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 368-386.
    8. D'Souza, Anna & Jolliffe, Dean, 2010. "Rising food prices and coping strategies : household-level evidence from Afghanistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5466, The World Bank.
    9. Gibson, John & McKenzie, David & Stillman, Steven, 2011. "What happens to diet and child health when migration splits households? Evidence from a migration lottery program," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 7-15, February.
    10. Persefoni Polychronidou & Ioannis Petasakis & Giannoula Florou & Anastasios Karasavvoglou, 2014. "Consuming Foods and Household Products in Greece: A Statistical Analysis," International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), vol. 0(2), pages 99-110.
    11. TAMURA Sakuya & SAWADA Yasuyuki, 2009. "Consumption Insurance against Unforeseen Epidemics:The Case of Avian Influenza in Vietnam," Discussion papers 09023, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    12. David McKenzie & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2005. "Buying Less, But Shopping More: Changes In Consumption Patterns During A Crisis," Business School Working Papers buyinglessshop, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
    13. Nazli ALIMEN & Gul BAYRAKTAROGLU, 2011. "Consumption Adjustments of Turkish Consumers during the Global Financial Crisis," Ege Academic Review, Ege University Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, vol. 11(2), pages 193-203.
    14. Pushan Dutt & V. Padmanabhan, 2011. "Crisis and Consumption Smoothing," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(3), pages 491-512, 05-06.

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