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The Buffer Stock Model and the Aggregate Propensity to Consume

  • Bent E. Sorensen
  • Maria J. Luengo-Prado

We simulate a buffer stock model of consumption at the individual level, aggregate, and estimate regressions on the aggregated (simulated) data. Regressions of consumption on current (or lagged) disposable labor income—using the simulated data—are used to predict the marginal effect of changing persistence of income shocks or changing aggregate uncertainty (variously defined). Next we estimate a time series model—using observed data—for aggregate disposable labor income for each state. The model allows for varying degrees of persistence and for varying degrees of aggregate uncertainty across states. Finally, we estimate aggregate regressions of consumption on current (or lagged) income, allowing the slope in these regression to depend on persistence and or measures of uncertainty. We find that the effect of persistence very strongly corresponds to that predicted from the model, while the impact of our aggregate measures of uncertainty matches the theoretical model less well

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Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings with number 457.

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Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ecm:nasm04:457
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  1. Jose Luengo-Prado, Maria, 2006. "Durables, nondurables, down payments and consumption excesses," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1509-1539, October.
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  17. Ostergaard, Charlotte & Sørensen, Bent E & Yosha, Oved, 2001. "Consumption and Aggregate Constraints: Evidence from US States and Canadian Provinces," CEPR Discussion Papers 2947, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Gourinchas, P.O. & Parker, J.A., 1997. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," Working papers 9722, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  19. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
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  21. Campbell, John Y & Deaton, Angus, 1989. "Why Is Consumption So Smooth?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 357-73, July.
  22. R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 1993. "The Importance of Precautionary Motives in Explaining Individual and Aggregate Saving," NBER Working Papers 4516, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Karen E. Dynan, 1993. "How prudent are consumers?," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 135, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  24. Carroll, Christopher D. & Samwick, Andrew A., 1997. "The nature of precautionary wealth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 41-71, September.
  25. Joon-Ho Hahm & Douglas G. Steigerwald, 1999. "Consumption Adjustment under Time-Varying Income Uncertainty," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 32-40, February.
  26. Abowd, John M & Card, David, 1989. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 411-45, March.
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