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What Drives Personal Consumption?: The Role of Housing and Financial Wealth

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  • Jiri Slacalek

Abstract

I construct a new dataset with financial and housing wealth in 16 countries and investigate the effect of wealth on consumption. The baseline estimation method based on the sluggishness of consumption growth implies that the long-run marginal propensity to consume out of total wealth averaged across countries is 5 cents. I find substantial heterogeneity in the wealth effects: the individual country estimates typically lie between 0 and 10 cents. The wealth effects are more powerful in market-based, Anglo-Saxon and non euro area economies. The effect of housing wealth is somewhat smaller than that of financial wealth for most countries, but not the US and the UK. The housing wealth effect has risen substantially after 1988 as it has become easier to borrow against housing wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Jiri Slacalek, 2006. "What Drives Personal Consumption?: The Role of Housing and Financial Wealth," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 647, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp647
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    Keywords

    Housing prices; wealth effect; consumption dynamics; portfolio choice;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes

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