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Consumption over the Life Cycle: Some Facts from Consumer Expenditure Survey Data

Author

Listed:
  • Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde

    (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Dirk Krueger

    (Stanford)

Abstract

This paper uses a seminonparametric model and Consumer Expenditure Survey data to estimate life cycle profiles of consumption, controlling for demographics, cohort and time effects. In addition to documenting profiles for total and nondurable consumption, we devote special attention to the age expenditure pattern for consumer durables. We find hump-shaped paths over the life cycle for total, for nondurable and for durable expenditures. Changes in household size account for roughly half of these humps. The other half remains unaccounted for by the standard complete markets life cycle model. Our results imply that households do not smooth consumption over their lifetimes. This is especially true for services from consumer durables. Bootstrap simulations suggest that our empirical estimates are tight and sensitivity analysis indicates that the computed profiles are robust to a large number of different specifications.

Suggested Citation

  • Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Dirk Krueger, 2002. "Consumption over the Life Cycle: Some Facts from Consumer Expenditure Survey Data," Centro de Alti­simos Estudios Ri­os Pe©rez(CAERP) 7, Centro de Altisimos Estudios Rios Perez (CAERP).
  • Handle: RePEc:cae:caerpp:7
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    File URL: http://www.ssc.upenn.edu/~vr0j/caerp/WPapers/empiricalpaper.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Orazio P. Attanasio & Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Ekaterini Kyriazidou, 2008. "Credit Constraints In The Market For Consumer Durables: Evidence From Micro Data On Car Loans," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(2), pages 401-436, May.
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    3. Orazio P. Attanasio, 1998. "Cohort Analysis of Saving Behavior by U.S. Households," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(3), pages 575-609.
    4. Emanuela Cardia & Serena Ng, 1997. "How Important are Intergenerational Transfers of Time? A Macroeconomic Analysis," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 395, Boston College Department of Economics.
    5. Pendakur, Krishna, 1998. "Semiparametric estimates and tests of base-independent equivalence scales," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 1-40, November.
    6. Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244.
    7. David Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 2000. "A Debt Puzzle," Documentos de Trabajo 80, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
    8. Phipps, Shelley & Garner, Thesia I, 1994. "Are Equivalence Scales the Same for the United States and Canada?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 40(1), pages 1-17, March.
    9. Barrow, Lisa & McGranahan, Leslie, 2000. "The Effects of the Earned Income Credit on the Seasonality of Household Expenditures," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 4), pages 1211-44, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Campbell, John Y. & Cocco, Joao F., 2007. "How do house prices affect consumption? Evidence from micro data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 591-621, April.
    2. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2005. "Differential mortality, uncertain medical expenses, and the saving of elderly singles," Working Paper Series WP-05-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    3. Koulovatianos, Christos & Schroder, Carsten & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2005. "On the income dependence of equivalence scales," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 967-996, June.
    4. Feigenbaum, James, 2008. "Can mortality risk explain the consumption hump?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 844-872, September.
    5. Karsten Jeske & Sagiri Kitao, 2005. "Health insurance and tax policy," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2005-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    6. Naohito Abe & Noriko Inakura & Tomoaki Yamada, 2007. "Consumption, Working Hours, and Wealth Determination in a Life Cycle Model," Bank of Japan Working Paper Series 07-E-14, Bank of Japan.
    7. Attanasio, Orazio & Kitao, Sagiri & Violante, Giovanni L., 2007. "Global demographic trends and social security reform," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 144-198, January.
    8. Jay H. Hong & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2012. "Life Insurance and Household Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3701-3730, December.
    9. repec:pit:wpaper:360 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Fang Yang, 2009. "Consumption over the Life Cycle: How Different is Housing?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(3), pages 423-443, July.
    11. Irina A. Telyukova, 2013. "Household Need for Liquidity and the Credit Card Debt Puzzle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(3), pages 1148-1177.
    12. Sule Alan, 2006. "Entry Costs and Stock Market Participation over the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(4), pages 588-611, October.
    13. Feigenbaum James A. & Li Geng, 2012. "Life Cycle Dynamics of Income Uncertainty and Consumption," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-49, May.
    14. Kevin X.D. Huang & Zheng Liu & John Qi Zhu, 2015. "Temptation and Self‐Control: Some Evidence and Applications," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(4), pages 581-615, June.
    15. Bullard, James & Feigenbaum, James, 2007. "A leisurely reading of the life-cycle consumption data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2305-2320, November.
    16. Rajnish Mehra & Facundo Piguillem & Edward C. Prescott, 2007. "Intermediated quantities and returns," Working Papers 655, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    17. Jeske, Karsten & Kitao, Sagiri, 2009. "U.S. tax policy and health insurance demand: Can a regressive policy improve welfare?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 210-221, March.
    18. Michael D. Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2006. "Economic Well-Being at Older Ages: Income- and Consumption-Based Poverty Measures in the HRS," NBER Working Papers 12680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Jones, Carol Adaire & Milkove, Daniel & Paszkiewicz, Laura, 2009. "Measuring Farm Household Well-Being: Comparing Consumption and Income-based Measures," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49355, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    20. Lynch, Anthony W. & Tan, Sinan, 2011. "Labor income dynamics at business-cycle frequencies: Implications for portfolio choice," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 333-359, August.
    21. repec:pit:wpaper:359 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumption; life cycle profiles; durables; nonparametric estimation; bootstrp; partially linear models;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General

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