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Durable Goods, Borrowing Constraints and Consumption Insurance

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  • Cerletti, Enzo
  • Pijoan-Mas, Josep

Abstract

In this paper we study the transmission of income shocks into nondurable consumption in the presence of durable goods. We use a standard a life-cycle model with two goods to characterize the interaction of durability of goods, durability of shocks, and borrowing constraints as determinants of shock transmission. We show that borrowing constraints lead to a substitution between durable and non-durable goods upon arrival of an unexpected income change. This substitution biases the conventional measures of insurance based on the response of non-durable consumption to income changes. The sign of this bias depends critically on the persistence of the shock. We show that households have less insurance against transitory shocks and more insurance against permanent shocks than commonly measured. We calibrate the model economy to the US in order to measure the size of this bias.

Suggested Citation

  • Cerletti, Enzo & Pijoan-Mas, Josep, 2012. "Durable Goods, Borrowing Constraints and Consumption Insurance," CEPR Discussion Papers 9035, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9035
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Greg Kaplan, 2012. "Moving Back Home: Insurance against Labor Market Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(3), pages 446-512.
    2. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "Unequal We Stand: An Empirical Analysis of Economic Inequality in the United States: 1967-2006," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 15-51, January.
    3. Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley, 2009. "Shocks, Stocks, and Socks: Smoothing Consumption Over a Temporary Income Loss," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(6), pages 1169-1192, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Neri & Concetta Rondinelli & Filippo Scoccianti, 2017. "Household spending out of a tax rebate: Italian “€80 tax bonus”," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 379, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Borrowing Constraints; Consumption Insurance; Durable Goods; Incomplete Markets; Persistence of Income Shocks;

    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

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