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Disentangling the wealth effect: a cohort analysis of household saving in the 1990s

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  • Dean M. Maki
  • Michael G. Palumbo

Abstract

In the U.S., household net worth rose substantially in the latter half of the 1990s and the personal saving rate dropped sharply. Researchers do not agree about just what behavior links these two events, or how to interpret the negative correlation between wealth and the saving rate over a longer time span. In this paper, we combine household-level data from the triennial Survey of Consumer Finances with quarterly, aggregate data from the Flow of Funds Accounts to estimate net worth and saving for different cohorts of households in the 1990s. We find that the groups of households whose balance sheets were boosted the most by surging equity prices were also the groups that substantially decreased their saving rates. Further, econometric analysis of these data produces propensities to consume out of wealth in the range of typical estimates obtained from aggregate data. Taken together, our results corroborate a direct view of the wealth effect on consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Dean M. Maki & Michael G. Palumbo, 2001. "Disentangling the wealth effect: a cohort analysis of household saving in the 1990s," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-21, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2001-21
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rochelle L. Antoniewicz, 1996. "A comparison of the household sector from the Flow of Funds Accounts and the Survey of Consumer Finances," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-26, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Muellbauer, John, 1994. "The Assessment: Consumer Expenditure," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 1-41, Summer.
    3. Sydney Ludvigson & Charles Steindel, 1999. "How important is the stock market effect on consumption?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jul, pages 29-51.
    4. Morris A. Davis & Michael G. Palumbo, 2001. "A primer on the economics and time series econometrics of wealth effects," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-09, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. James M. Poterba & Andrew A. Samwick, 1995. "Stock Ownership Patterns, Stock Market Fluctuations, and Consumption," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 295-372.
    6. James M. Poterba, 2000. "Stock Market Wealth and Consumption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 99-118, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bunting, David, 2009. "The saving decline: Macro-facts, micro-behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 282-295, May.
    2. Charles Grant & Tuomas Peltonen, 2005. "Housing and Equity Wealth Effects of Italian Households," DNB Working Papers 043, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    3. Elbourne, Adam, 2008. "The UK housing market and the monetary policy transmission mechanism: An SVAR approach," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 65-87, March.
    4. Gustav A. Horn & Katharina Dröge & Simon Sturn & Till van Treeck & Rudolf Zwiener, 2009. "Von der Finanzkrise zur Weltwirtschaftskrise (III)," IMK Report 41-2009, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    5. Yilmaz Akyuz, 2015. "The Global Economic Crisis and Asian Developing Countries: Impact, Policy Response and Medium Term Prospects," Working Papers id:7062, eSocialSciences.
    6. Markus Christen & Ruskin Morgan, 2005. "Keeping Up With the Joneses: Analyzing the Effect of Income Inequality on Consumer Borrowing," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 145-173, June.
    7. Tavani, Daniele & Vasudevan, Ramaa, 2014. "Capitalists, workers, and managers: Wage inequality and effective demand," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 120-131.
    8. Julia Lynn Coronado & Maria Perozek, 2003. "Wealth effects and the consumption of leisure: retirement decisions during the stock market boom of the 1900s," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-20, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    9. Ricardo M. Sousa, 2003. "Property of stocks and wealth effects on consumption," NIPE Working Papers 2/2003, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    10. Sònia Muñoz, 2006. "Wealth Effects in Europe; A Tale of Two Countries (Italy and the United Kingdom)," IMF Working Papers 06/30, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Yilmaz Akyuz, 2008. "Managing Financial Instability in Emerging Markets: A Keynesian Perspective," Working Papers 2008/4, Turkish Economic Association.
    12. Atalay, Kadir & Whelan, Stephen & Yates, Judith, 2013. "Housing Wealth and Household Consumption: New Evidence from Australia and Canada," Working Papers 2013-04, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
    13. Tamim Bayoumi & Hali Edison, 2003. "Is Wealth Increasingly Driving Consuption?," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 101, Netherlands Central Bank.
    14. repec:bla:revinw:v:63:y:2017:i:1:p:53-69 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Timothy A. Wunder, 2016. "Setting a Principal to Interest Cap on the Issuance of Home Mortgages: a Proposed Change to Mortgage Underwriting Rules Designed to Control Housing Price Inflation," World Economic Review, World Economics Association, vol. 2016(6), pages 1-86, February.
    16. Eva Sierminska & Yelena Takhtamanova, 2006. "Wealth Effects Out of Financial and Housing Wealth: Cross Country and Age Group Comparisons," LWS Working papers 4, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    17. Christian Helmenstein & Alexia Prskawetz & Yuri Yegorov, 2002. "Wealth and cohort size: stock market boom or bust ahead?," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-051, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    18. Karen E. Dynan & Dean M. Maki, 2001. "Does stock market wealth matter for consumption?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-23, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    19. Gérard Duménil & Dominique Lévy, 2014. "The crisis of the early 21st Century: Marxian perspectives," Chapters,in: The Great Recession and the Contradictions of Contemporary Capitalism, chapter 2, pages 26-49 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    20. Barry Z. Cynamon & Steven M. Fazzari, 2017. "Household Income, Demand, and Saving: Deriving Macro Data With Micro Data Concepts," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 63(1), pages 53-69, March.
    21. Sebastian Barnes & Garry Young, 2003. "The rise in US household debt: assessing its causes and sustainability," Bank of England working papers 206, Bank of England.
    22. Eckhard Hein & Till van Treeck, 2008. "Finanzmarktorientierung - ein Investitions- und Wachstumshemmnis?," IMK Report 26-2008, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    23. Khalifa, Sherif & Seck, Ousmane & Tobing, Elwin, 2013. "Housing wealth effect: Evidence from threshold estimation," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 25-35.

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    Keywords

    Wealth ; Saving and investment;

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