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The Rational Consumer: Theory and Evidence


  • Robert E. Hall

    () (Stanford University)


Since the late 1960s, Robert Hall's research has had a significant impact on the macroeconomic study of consumer behavior. The Rational Consumer brings together eight articles that represent key points in the development of Hall's ideas on consumption over the past two decades. In his introduction, Hall puts this work into perspective, tying together his ideas and pointing to how consumer behavior should work in the future given what he has discovered. Working within the standard intertemporal models of consumption - the overlapping generations model and the infinite lifetime model - Hall's contributions to methodology have been especially important. Particularly noteworthy was his challenge to the prevalent model in which current consumption was seen as deriving from expected future income. Hall argued that consumption was, instead, based upon the actual present discounted value of future income.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert E. Hall, 1991. "The Rational Consumer: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262081970, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262081970

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tornell, Aaron & Velasco, Andres, 2000. "Fixed versus flexible exchange rates: Which provides more fiscal discipline?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 399-436, April.
    2. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2000. "Fixing for Your Life," NBER Working Papers 8006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408.
    4. Ricardo Hausmann & Michael Gavin & Carmen Pagés & Ernesto H. Stein, 1999. "Financial Turmoil and the Choice of Exchange Rate Regime," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1108, Inter-American Development Bank.
    5. Kenen, Peter B., 2000. "Currency areas, policy domains, and the institutionalization of fixed exchange rates," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20170, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 2001. "Welfare and Macroeconomic Interdependence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 421-445.
    7. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2000. "New directions for stochastic open economy models," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 117-153, February.
    8. Miguel A Savastano & Paul R Masson & Sunil Sharma, 1997. "The Scope for Inflation Targeting in Developing Countries," IMF Working Papers 97/130, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Amartya Lahiri & Carlos A. Végh, 2002. "Living with the Fear of Floating: An Optimal Policy Perspective," NBER Chapters,in: Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets, pages 663-704 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Klein, Michael W. & Marion, Nancy P., 1997. "Explaining the duration of exchange-rate pegs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 387-404, December.
    11. Ball, Laurence, 1992. "Why does high inflation raise inflation uncertainty?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 371-388, June.
    12. Fischer, Stanley, 1993. "The role of macroeconomic factors in growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 485-512, December.
    13. Svensson, Lars E. O., 2000. "Open-economy inflation targeting," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 155-183, February.
    14. David Romer, 1993. "Openness and Inflation: Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(4), pages 869-903.
    15. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 2001. "Optimal Monetary Policy in Open versus Closed Economies: An Integrated Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 248-252, May.
    16. Sebastian Edwards & Miguel A. Savastano, 1999. "Exchange Rates in Emerging Economies: What Do We Know? What Do We Need to Know?," NBER Working Papers 7228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item


    consumer behavior; overlapping generation model; infinite lifetime model;

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory


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