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Utility Function and Optimum Consumption in the models with Habit Formation and Catching up with the Joneses

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  • Roman Naryshkin
  • Matt Davison

Abstract

This paper analyzes popular time-nonseparable utility functions that describe "habit formation" consumer preferences comparing current consumption with the time averaged past consumption of the same individual and "catching up with the Joneses" (CuJ) models comparing individual consumption with a cross-sectional average consumption level. Few of these models give reasonable optimum consumption time series. We introduce theoretically justified utility specifications leading to a plausible consumption behavior to show that habit formation preferences must be described by a power CRRA utility function different from the exponential CARA used for CuJ.

Suggested Citation

  • Roman Naryshkin & Matt Davison, 2009. "Utility Function and Optimum Consumption in the models with Habit Formation and Catching up with the Joneses," Papers 0909.3655, arXiv.org.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:0909.3655
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gali, Jordi, 1994. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Consumption Externalities, Portfolio Choice, and Asset Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(1), pages 1-8, February.
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    6. Abel, Andrew B, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 38-42, May.
    7. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Goncalo Monteiro & Stephen J. Turnovsky, 2004. "Habit Formation, Catching Up with the Joneses, and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 47-80, March.
    8. Sundaresan, Suresh M, 1989. "Intertemporally Dependent Preferences and the Volatility of Consumption and Wealth," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 2(1), pages 73-89.
    9. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    10. Harald Uhlig & Lars Ljungqvist, 2000. "Tax Policy and Aggregate Demand Management under Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 356-366, June.
    11. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumption and Its Implications for Monetary-Policy Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 367-390, June.
    12. Constantinides, George M, 1990. "Habit Formation: A Resolution of the Equity Premium Puzzle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 519-543, June.
    13. Schoemaker, Paul J H, 1982. "The Expected Utility Model: Its Variants, Purposes, Evidence and Limitations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 529-563, June.
    14. Smith, William T., 2002. "Consumption and saving with habit formation and durability," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 369-375, May.
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