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Long-term interest rates, wealth and consumption

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  • Roy Cromb
  • Emilio Fernandez-Corugedo

Abstract

This paper examines the sensitivity of the level of consumption to interest rates in a standard partial equilibrium theoretical framework with no uncertainty. Using a multi-period framework, the consumption function is derived and interest rate effects are decomposed into substitution, income and wealth effects. Drawing on parallels with the finance literature, the paper illustrates two key implications of the theory that are not typically emphasised in the economics literature. First, it shows that wealth effects mean that consumption is much more likely to be negatively related to interest rates than the simple two-period textbook model might suggest. Second, it demonstrates that long-term interest rates are more important than short-term rates - the sensitivity of consumption to interest rate changes depends crucially on how long these are expected to persist. Numerical calibrations provide an indication of the sensitivity of the results to key parameters.

Suggested Citation

  • Roy Cromb & Emilio Fernandez-Corugedo, 2004. "Long-term interest rates, wealth and consumption," Bank of England working papers 243, Bank of England.
  • Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:243
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    File URL: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/research/Documents/workingpapers/2004/WP243long.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Thornton, Daniel L., 2014. "Monetary policy: Why money matters (and interest rates don’t)," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 202-213.
    2. repec:eee:forpol:v:83:y:2017:i:c:p:58-69 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Yang, Zan & Wang, S.T., 2012. "Permanent and transitory shocks in owner-occupied housing: A common trend model of price dynamics," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 336-346.

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