IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Testing Consumption Optimality using Aggregate Data

  • Gomes, Fábio Augusto Reis
  • Issler, João Victor

The objective of this paper is to test for optimality of consumption decisions at the aggregate level (representative consumer) taking into account popular deviations from the canonical CRRA utility model rule of thumb and habit. First, we show that rule-of-thumb behavior in consumption is observational equivalent to behavior obtained by the optimizing model of King, Plosser and Rebelo (Journal of Monetary Economics, 1988), casting doubt on how reliable standard rule-of-thumb tests are. Second, although Carroll (2001) and Weber (2002) have criticized the linearization and testing of euler equations for consumption, we provide a deeper critique directly applicable to current rule-of-thumb tests. Third, we show that there is no reason why return aggregation cannot be performed in the nonlinear setting of the Asset-Pricing Equation, since the latter is a linear function of individual returns. Fourth, aggregation of the nonlinear euler equation forms the basis of a novel test of deviations from the canonical CRRA model of consumption in the presence of rule-of-thumb and habit behavior. We estimated 48 euler equations using GMM, with encouraging results vis-a-vis the optimality of consumption decisions. At the 5% level, we only rejected optimality twice out of 48 times. Empirical-test results show that we can still rely on the canonical CRRA model so prevalent in macroeconomics: out of 24 regressions, we found the rule-of-thumb parameter ƛ to be statistically signi cant at the 5% level only twice, and the habit ƴ parameter to be statistically signi cant on four occasions. The main message of this paper is that proper return aggregation is critical to study intertemporal substitution in a representative-agent framework. In this case, we fi nd little evidence of lack of optimality in consumption decisions, and deviations of the CRRA utility model along the lines of rule-of-thumb behavior and habit in preferences represent the exception, not the rule.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://bibliotecadigital.fgv.br/dspace/bitstream/10438/11805/3/Testing-Consumption-Optimality-using-Aggregate-Data.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil) in its series Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) with number 752.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 02 Jun 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fgv:epgewp:752
Contact details of provider: Postal: Praia de Botafogo 190, sala 1100, Rio de Janeiro/RJ - CEP: 22253-900
Phone: 55-21-2559-5871
Fax: 55-21-2553-8821
Web page: http://epge.fgv.br
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Abel, Andrew B, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 38-42, May.
  2. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1991. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 263-86, April.
  3. Christopher D. Carroll, 1997. "Death to the Log-Linearized Consumption Euler Equation! (And Very Poor Health to the Second-Order Approximation)," NBER Working Papers 6298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Karen E. Dynan, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumer Preferences: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 391-406, June.
  5. Runkle, David E., 1991. "Liquidity constraints and the permanent-income hypothesis : Evidence from panel data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 73-98, February.
  6. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By force of habit: a consumption-based explanation of aggregate stock market behavior," Working Papers 94-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  7. Phillippe Weil, 1997. "The Equity Premium Puzzle and the Risk-Free Rate Puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1833, David K. Levine.
  8. David B. Gross & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2002. "Do Liquidity Constraints And Interest Rates Matter For Consumer Behavior? Evidence From Credit Card Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 149-185, February.
  9. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1983. "Stochastic Consumption, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Asset Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 249-65, April.
  10. Campbell, John Y. & Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1990. "Permanent Income, Current Income, and Consumption," Scholarly Articles 3353762, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "Capital, Interest, and Aggregate Intertemporal Substitution," NBER Working Papers 9373, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  13. Weber, Christian E, 1998. "Consumption Spending and the Paper-Bill Spread: Theory and Evidence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 575-89, October.
  14. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-87, December.
  15. Pesaran, M Hashem & Taylor, Larry W, 1999. " Diagnostics for IV Regressions," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(2), pages 255-81, May.
  16. Campbell, John Y & Deaton, Angus, 1989. "Why Is Consumption So Smooth?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 357-73, July.
  17. Orazio Attanasio & James Banks & Sarah Tanner, 1998. "Asset holding and consumption volatility," IFS Working Papers W98/08, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  18. Weber, Christian E., 2002. "Intertemporal non-separability and "rule of thumb" consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 293-308, March.
  19. John C. Driscoll & Aart C. Kraay, 1998. "Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation With Spatially Dependent Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 549-560, November.
  20. Cumby, Robert E & Huizinga, John, 1992. "Testing the Autocorrelation Structure of Disturbances in Ordinary Least Squares and Instrumental Variables Regressions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 185-95, January.
  21. Flavin, Marjorie A, 1981. "The Adjustment of Consumption to Changing Expectations about Future Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 974-1009, October.
  22. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-57, April.
  23. John Y. Campbell & John Cochrane, 1999. "Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 205-251, April.
  24. Hansen, Lars Peter & Heaton, John & Yaron, Amir, 1996. "Finite-Sample Properties of Some Alternative GMM Estimators," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 14(3), pages 262-80, July.
  25. Breusch, T S & Pagan, A R, 1979. "A Simple Test for Heteroscedasticity and Random Coefficient Variation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1287-94, September.
  26. Deaton, Angus, 1985. "Panel data from time series of cross-sections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 109-126.
  27. Cushing, Matthew J, 1992. "Liquidity Constraints and Aggregate Consumption Behavior," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(1), pages 134-53, January.
  28. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1982. "Generalized Instrumental Variables Estimation of Nonlinear Rational Expectations Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1269-86, September.
  29. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fgv:epgewp:752. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Núcleo de Computação da EPGE)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.