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Expected consumption growth from cross-country surveys: implications for assessing international capital markets

  • Charles Engel
  • John H. Rogers

Survey data show that the expected growth rates of consumption across countries vary widely and are not highly correlated. This data contradicts the simplest of open-economy models in which there is a freely traded non- state-contingent bond and purchasing power parity holds. We explore two alternative explanations for the finding: that households in each country in effect face different ex ante real interest rates or that there are significant credit constraints, so that expected consumption growth rates are driven largely by expected income growth. The empirical evidence strongly supports the latter hypothesis. These findings challenge the modeling of consumption that is at the heart of many, if not most, macroeconomic models.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 949.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:949
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  1. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2006. "An Equilibrium Model of Global Imbalances and Low Interest Rates," 2006 Meeting Papers 894, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Backus, David K. & Smith, Gregor W., 1993. "Consumption and real exchange rates in dynamic economies with non-traded goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3-4), pages 297-316, November.
  3. Sheffrin, Steven M. & Woo, Wing Thye, 1990. "Testing an optimizing model of the current account via the consumption function," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 220-233, June.
  4. Charles Engel & Nelson C. Mark & Kenneth D. West, 2007. "Exchange Rate Models Are Not as Bad as You Think," NBER Working Papers 13318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2007. "News and Business Cycles in Open Economies," NBER Working Papers 13444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Giancarlo CORSETTI & Luca DEDOLA & Sylvain LEDUC, 2003. "International Risk-Sharing and the Transmission of Productivity Shocks," Economics Working Papers ECO2003/22, European University Institute.
  7. Ang, Andrew & Bekaert, Geert & Wei, Min, 2007. "Do macro variables, asset markets, or surveys forecast inflation better?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1163-1212, May.
  8. Kano, Takashi, 2008. "A structural VAR approach to the intertemporal model of the current account," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 757-779, September.
  9. James M. Nason & John H. Rogers, 2003. "The present-value model of the current account has been rejected: Round up the usual suspects," Working Paper 2003-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  10. Croushore Dean, 2010. "An Evaluation of Inflation Forecasts from Surveys Using Real-Time Data," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-32, May.
  11. Andrea Ferrero, 2007. "The long-run determinants of U.S. external imbalances," Staff Reports 295, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  12. Allen C. Head & Todd D. Mattina & Gregor W. Smith, 2004. "Real Exchange Rates, Preferences, and Incomplete Markets: Evidence, 1961-2001," Working Papers 1246, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  13. Paul Bergin & Steven Sheffrin, . "Interest Rates, Exchange Rates And Present Value Models Of The Current Account," Department of Economics 97-22, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  14. Brandt, Michael W. & Cochrane, John H. & Santa-Clara, Pedro, 2006. "International risk sharing is better than you think, or exchange rates are too smooth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 671-698, May.
  15. Eric Ghysels & Jonathan H. Wright, 2006. "Forecasting professional forecasters," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Ghosh, Atish R, 1995. "International Capital Mobility amongst the Major Industrialised Countries: Too Little or Too Much?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 107-28, January.
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