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Consumption, Wealth and Business Cycles in Germany

  • Britta Hamburg
  • Mathias Hoffmann
  • Joachim Keller

This paper studies the long-run relationship between consumption, asset wealth and income in Germany, based on data from 1980 to 2003. While earlier studies — mostly for the Anglo-Saxon economies — have generally documented that departures of these three variables from their common trend signal changes in asset prices, we find that for Germany they predict changes in income. Asset price changes are found to have virtually no effect on consumption — both in the short as well as in the long-run. We offer an explanation of this finding that emphasizes differences between the bank-based German financial system and the rather market-based Anglo-American system: stock ownership by private households is much less widespread in Germany than in the Anglo-Saxon economies and the share of publicly traded equity in household wealth is much smaller in Germany than in the U.S., the UK or Australia.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1443.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1443
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  1. Hoffmann, Mathias, 2006. "Proprietary Income, Entrepreneurial Risk, and the Predictability of U.S. Stock Returns," Technical Reports 2006,14, Technische Universität Dortmund, Sonderforschungsbereich 475: Komplexitätsreduktion in multivariaten Datenstrukturen.
  2. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," CRSP working papers 412, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
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  7. Hoffmann, Mathias, 2001. "Long run recursive VAR models and QR decompositions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 15-20, October.
  8. Lettau, Martin & Ludvigson, Sydney, 1999. "Consumption, Aggregate Wealth and Expected Stock Returns," CEPR Discussion Papers 2223, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  10. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1991. "A simple estimator of cointegrating vectors in higher order integrated systems," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  11. Hodrick, Robert J, 1992. "Dividend Yields and Expected Stock Returns: Alternative Procedures for Inference and Measurement," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(3), pages 357-86.
  12. Lance A. Fisher & Graham M. Voss, 2004. "Consumption, Wealth and Expected Stock Returns in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 80(251), pages 359-372, December.
  13. Alvin Tan & Graham Voss, 2003. "Consumption and Wealth in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 79(244), pages 39-56, 03.
  14. Hui Guo, 2001. "A simple model of limited stock market participation," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 37-47.
  15. Karl Whelan & Jeremy Rudd, 2002. "A note on the cointegration of consumption, income, and wealth," Open Access publications 10197/228, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  16. Gonzalo, J. & Granger, C., 1992. "Estimation of Common Long-Memory Components in Cointegrated Systems," Papers 4, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  17. Sascha O. Becker & Mathias Hoffmann, 2003. "Intra-and International Risk-Sharing in the Short Run and the Long Run," CESifo Working Paper Series 1111, CESifo Group Munich.
  18. Sydney Ludvigson & Charles Steindel, 1998. "How important is the stock market effect on consumption?," Research Paper 9821, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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  21. Poterba, James M & Venti, Steven F & Wise, David A, 1998. "401(k) Plans and Future Patterns of Retirement Saving," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 179-84, May.
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  23. Bénédicte Vidaillet & V. D'Estaintot & P. Abécassis, 2005. "Introduction," Post-Print hal-00287137, HAL.
  24. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Saikkonen, Pentti & Lutkepohl, Helmut, 2000. "Testing for the Cointegrating Rank of a VAR Process with Structural Shifts," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 18(4), pages 451-64, October.
  26. Proietti, Tommaso, 1997. "Short-Run Dynamics in Cointegrated Systems," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 59(3), pages 405-22, August.
  27. Constantinides, George M & Duffie, Darrell, 1996. "Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Consumers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 219-40, April.
  28. Hamburg, Britta & Hoffmann, Mathias & Keller, Joachim, 2005. "Consumption, wealth and business cycles: why is Germany different?," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,16, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  29. Polkovnichenko, Valery, 2004. "Limited stock market participation and the equity premium," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 24-34, March.
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