In: Handbook of Macroeconomics
Consumption is the largest component of GDP. Since the 1950s, the life cycle and the permanent income models have constituted the main analytical tools to the study of consumption behaviour, both at the micro and at the aggregate level. Since the late 1970s the literature has focused on versions of the model that incorporate the hypothesis of Rational Expectations and a rigorous treatment of uncertainty. In this chapter, I survey the most recent contribution and assess where the life cycle model stands. My reading of the evidence and of recent developments leads me to stress two points: (i) the model can only be tested and estimated using a flexible specification of preferences and individual level data; (ii) it is possible to construct versions of the model that are not rejected by the data. One of the main problems of the approach used in the literature to estimate preferences is the lack of a 'consumption function'. A challenge for future research is to use preference parameter estimates to construct such functions.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
|This chapter was published in: ||This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook of Macroeconomics with number
1-11.||Handle:|| RePEc:eee:macchp:1-11||Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookseriesdescription.cws_home/BS_HE/description|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:macchp:1-11. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.