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The welfare cost of external habits: a quantitative assessment

  • Manuel A. Gómez


This paper quantifies the welfare cost of consumption externalities in an endogenous growth model with habit formation. Agent’s utility depends on both current consumption and a reference consumption level determined by economy-wide average past consumption. Although utility may be lower in the presence of consumption externalities, the welfare loss relative to the efficient growth path is found to be very small. This result is extremely robust to variations in the parameter values. However, there are relatively important differences in the timing of the welfare loss and in generational welfare.

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Article provided by University of Chile, Department of Economics in its journal Estudios de Economia.

Volume (Year): 37 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 Year 2010 (June)
Pages: 5-26

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Handle: RePEc:udc:esteco:v:37:y:2010:i:1:p:5-36
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  9. Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caballé & Xavier Raurich, 2006. "Welfare Implications Of The Interaction Between Habits And Consumption Externalities," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(2), pages 557-571, 05.
  10. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By force of habit: a consumption-based explanation of aggregate stock market behavior," Working Papers 94-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
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  14. Josep Pijoan-Mas 2 & Antonia Díaz & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2001. "Habit Formation: Inplications For The Wealth Distribution," Economics Working Papers we015114, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  15. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
  16. Manoj Atolia & Edward F. Buffie, 2004. "Reverse Shooting Made Easy: Solving for the Global Nonlinear Saddle Path," Working Papers wp2009_01_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University, revised Jan 2009.
  17. Chris Tsoukis, 2007. "Keeping Up With The Joneses, Growth, And Distribution," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 54(4), pages 575-600, 09.
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  19. Stephen J Turnovsky & Goncalo Monteiro, . "Consumption Externalities, Production Externalities and Efficient Capital Accumulation under Time Non-separable Preferences," Discussion Papers 05/08, Department of Economics, University of York.
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