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Cross-Country Heterogeneity in Intertemporal Substitution

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Abstract

We collect 2,735 estimates of the elasticity of intertemporal substitution in consumption from 169 published studies that cover 104 countries during different time periods. The estimates vary substantially from country to country, even after controlling for 30 aspects of study design. Our results suggest that income and asset market participation are the most effective factors in explaining the heterogeneity: households in rich countries and countries with high stock market participation substitute a larger fraction of consumption intertemporally in response to changes in expected asset returns. Micro-level studies that focus on sub-samples of rich households or asset holders also find systematically larger values of the elasticity.

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  • Tomas Havranek & Roman Horvath & Zuzana Irsova & Marek Rusnak, 2013. "Cross-Country Heterogeneity in Intertemporal Substitution," Working Papers IES 2013/11, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Aug 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:fau:wpaper:wp2013_11
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    Keywords

    Elasticity of intertemporal substitution; consumption; metaanalysis; Bayesian model averaging;

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • 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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