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Habit Formation in Consumption: A Meta-Analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Tomas Havranek

    () (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague, Smetanovo nabrezi 6, 111 01 Prague 1, Czech Republic
    Czech National Bank)

  • Marek Rusnak

    () (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague, Smetanovo nabrezi 6, 111 01 Prague 1, Czech Republic
    Czech National Bank)

  • Anna Sokolova

    () (Higher School of Economics, Moscow)

Abstract

We examine 567 estimates of habit formation from 69 studies published in peer-reviewed journals. In contrast to previous results for most fields of empirical economics, we find no publication bias in the literature. The median estimated strength of habit formation equals 0.4, but the estimates vary widely both within and across studies. We use Bayesian model averaging to assign a pattern to this variance while taking into account model uncertainty. Studies using micro data report consistently smaller estimates than macro studies: 0.1 vs. 0.6 on average. The difference remains large when we control for 21 other study aspects, such as data frequency, geographical coverage, variable definition, estimation approach, and publication characteristics. We also find that estimates of external habit formation tend to be substantially larger than those of internal habits, that evidence for habits weakens when researchers use higher data frequencies, and that estimates differ systematically across countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Tomas Havranek & Marek Rusnak & Anna Sokolova, 2015. "Habit Formation in Consumption: A Meta-Analysis," Working Papers IES 2015/15, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised May 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:fau:wpaper:wp2015_15
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    Keywords

    Habit formation; consumption; meta-analysis; publication bias; Bayesian model averaging;

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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