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Representing Consumption and Saving without A Representative Consumer

In: Measuring Economic Sustainability and Progress

  • Christopher D. Carroll

The Great Recession confirmed a bedrock principle of modern consumption theory: It is impossible to explain aggregate spending behavior without knowledge of the underlying microeconomic distribution of circumstances and choices across households. National accounting frameworks therefore need to be augmented by "bottom up" measures that both (a) capture the microeconomic heterogeneity (in expenditures, income, assets, debt, and beliefs) in the population and (b) sum up to statistics that have a recognizable relationship to the aggregate totals that are already reasonably well measured.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Dale W. Jorgenson & J. Steven Landefeld & Paul Schreyer, 2014. "Measuring Economic Sustainability and Progress," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number jorg12-1, December.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 12830.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12830
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

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    1. Jonathan A. Parker, 2011. "Consumer Spending and the Economic Stimulus Payments of 2008," 2011 Meeting Papers 254, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. P. Pailot, 2011. "Theoretical foundations," Post-Print hal-00812721, HAL.
    3. Milton Friedman, 1957. "Introduction to "A Theory of the Consumption Function"," NBER Chapters, in: A Theory of the Consumption Function, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Mark A. Aguiar & Mark Bils, 2011. "Has Consumption Inequality Mirrored Income Inequality?," NBER Working Papers 16807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jason DeBacker & Bradley Heim & Vasia Panousi & Shanthi Ramnath & Ivan Vidangos, 2013. "Rising Inequality: Transitory or Persistent? New Evidence from a Panel of U.S. Tax Returns," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 46(1 (Spring), pages 67-142.
    6. Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2009. "Five Decades of Consumption and Income Poverty," Working Papers 0907, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    7. Carroll, Christopher D. & Slacalek, Jiri & Sommer, Martin, 2012. "Dissecting saving dynamics: Measuring wealth, precautionary, and credit effects," CFS Working Paper Series 2012/10, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    8. Kaplan, Greg & Violante, Giovanni L, 2011. "A Model of the Consumption Response to Fiscal Stimulus Payments," CEPR Discussion Papers 8562, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Jeremy Tobacman & David Laibson, 2007. "Estimating Discount Functions with Consumption Choices over the Lifecycle," Economics Series Working Papers 341, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    10. Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals, and Misperceptions," NBER Working Papers 11643, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Claus Thustrup Kreiner & David Dreyer Lassen & Søren Leth-Petersen, 2013. "Measuring the Accuracy of Survey Responses using Administrative Register Data: Evidence from Denmark," NBER Working Papers 19539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Carroll, Christopher D. & Slacalek, Jiri & Tokuoka, Kiichi, 2014. "Buffer-stock saving in a Krusell-Smith world," Working Paper Series 1633, European Central Bank.
    13. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1, December.
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