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Adjustment of Consumers' Durables Stocks: Evidence from Automobile Purchases

Listed author(s):
  • Eberly, Janice C

This paper tests an optimal (S, s) rule in household durable purchases and examines directly the resulting aggregate expenditure dynamics. The observed decision rule responds to income uncertainty and growth as predicted by an (S, s) model resulting from transactions costs. Tests against liquidity constraints find that about half the households purchase according to an optimal (S, s) rule. Aggregating the (S, s) rule over households produces a cross-section distribution of durables holdings. The empirical distribution is similar to that predicted theoretically, as is its response to aggregate shocks. Furthermore, simulations of aggregate expenditure based on the household distribution exhibit dynamics consistent with those observed in the 1980s. Copyright 1994 by University of Chicago Press.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/261940
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 102 (1994)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 403-436

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:102:y:1994:i:3:p:403-36
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/

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  1. 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 971-987, December.
  2. Zeldes, Stephen P, 1989. "Consumption and Liquidity Constraints: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 305-346, April.
  3. Andrew S. Caplin & Daniel F. Spulber, 1987. "Menu Costs and the Neutrality of Money," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(4), pages 703-725.
  4. Chah, Eun Young & Ramey, Valerie A & Starr, Ross M, 1995. "Liquidity Constraints and Intertemporal Consumer Optimization: Theory and Evidence from Durable Goods," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(1), pages 272-287, February.
  5. Avner Bar-Ilan & Alan S. Blinder, 1988. "Consumer Durables and the Optimality of Usually Doing Nothing," NBER Working Papers 2488, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Merton, Robert C, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection under Uncertainty: The Continuous-Time Case," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 247-257, August.
  7. Pok-Sang Lam, 1991. "Permanent Income, Liquidity, and Adjustments of Automobile Stocks: Evidence from Panel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 203-230.
  8. Ben S. Bernanke, 1984. "Permanent Income, Liquidity, and Expenditure on Automobiles: Evidence from Panel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(3), pages 587-614.
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