Why is Consumption More Log Normal Than Income? Gibrat's Law Revisited
Significant departures from log normality are observed in income data, in violation of Gibrat's law. We identify a new empirical regularity, which is that the distribution of consumption expenditures across households is, within cohorts, closer to log normal than the distribution of income. We explain these empirical results by showing that the logic of Gibrat's law applies not to total income, but to permanent income and to maginal utility. These findings have important implications for welfare and inequality measurement, aggregation, and econometric model analysis.
|Date of creation:||06 Jul 2007|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill MA 02467 USA|
Web page: http://fmwww.bc.edu/EC/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Richard Blundell & Ian Preston, 1998.
"Consumption Inequality and Income Uncertainty,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 603-640.
- Erich Battistin, 2003.
"Errors in survey reports of consumption expenditures,"
IFS Working Papers
W03/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Erich Battistin, 2002. "Errors in Survey Reports of Consumption Expenditures," 10th International Conference on Panel Data, Berlin, July 5-6, 2002 C4-2, International Conferences on Panel Data.
- Costas Meghir & Luigi Pistaferri, 2004.
"Income Variance Dynamics and Heterogeneity,"
Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 1-32, 01.
- Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-987, December.
- Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1.
- Deaton, A. & Paxson, C., 1993.
"Intertemporal Choice and Inequality,"
168, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
- Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244, December.
- Richard Blundell & Luigi Pistaferri & Ian Preston, 2004.
"Consumption inequality and partial insurance,"
IFS Working Papers
W04/28, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
- Wooldridge, Jeffrey M. & White, Halbert, 1988. "Some Invariance Principles and Central Limit Theorems for Dependent Heterogeneous Processes," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(02), pages 210-230, August.
- 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.
- Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law for Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767.
- Richard Blundell & Ian Preston, 1995. "Income, expenditure and the living standards of UK households," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 16(3), pages 40-54, August.
- Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2003. "Measuring the Well-Being of the Poor Using Income and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 9760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Richard Blundell & Luigi Pistaferri & Ian Preston, 2004. "Imputing consumption in the PSID using food demand estimates from the CEX," IFS Working Papers W04/27, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:671. 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: (Christopher F Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.