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The consumption response to minimum wage increases

  • Daniel Aaronson
  • Sumit Agarwal
  • Eric French

This paper presents evidence that spending increases more than income, and thus debt rises, in households with minimum wage workers following a minimum wage hike. Furthermore, we show that the size, timing, persistence, and composition of spending is inconsistent with the basic certainty equivalent life cycle model. However, our findings are consistent with a model where households can borrow against part of the value of their durable goods. ; Preliminary and incomplete.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series with number WP-07-23.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-07-23
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  1. Shea, John, 1995. "Union Contracts and the Life-Cycle/Permanent-Income Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 186-200, March.
  2. Costas Meghir & Luigi Pistaferri, 2004. "Income Variance Dynamics and Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 1-32, 01.
  3. Janice C. Eberly, . "Adjustment of Consumers' Durables Stocks: Evidence from Automobile Purchases," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 22-91, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  4. Sumit Agarwal & Chunlin Liu & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2007. "The reaction of consumer spending and debt to tax rebates; evidence from consumer credit data," Working Papers 07-34, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
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  6. Johnson, William R & Browning, Edgar K, 1983. "The Distributional and Efficiency Effects of Increasing the Minimum Wage: A Simulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 204-11, March.
  7. Paxson, Christina H, 1993. "Consumption and Income Seasonality in Thailand," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 39-72, February.
  8. Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1982. "Hall's consumption hypothesis and durable goods," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 417-425.
  9. Blinder, Alan S, 1981. "Temporary Income Taxes and Consumer Spending," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(1), pages 26-53, February.
  10. William Adams & Liran Einav & Jonathan Levin, 2007. "Liquidity Constraints and Imperfect Information in Subprime Lending," NBER Working Papers 13067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Bertola, Giuseppe & Guiso, Luigi & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2002. "Uncertainty and Consumer Durables Adjustment," CEPR Discussion Papers 3332, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Edward M. Gramlich, 1976. "Impact of Minimum Wages on Other Wages, Employment, and Family Incomes," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 7(2), pages 409-462.
  13. Sanford J. Grossman & Guy Laroque, 1987. "Asset Pricing and Optimal Portfolio Choice in the Presence of Illiquid Durable Consumption Goods," NBER Working Papers 2369, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. David Neumark & Mark E. Schweitzer & William L. Wascher, 2004. "The effects of minimum wages on the distribution of family incomes: a nonparametric analysis," Working Paper 0412, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  15. David Neumark & DMark Schweitzer & DaWilliam Wascher, 2004. "Minimum Wage Effects throughout the Wage Distribution," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  16. Melvin Stephens Jr., 2003. "The Consumption Response to Predictable Changes in Discretionary Income: Evidence from the Repayment of Vehicle Loans," NBER Working Papers 9976, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Alison J. Wellington, 1991. "Effects of the Minimum Wage on the Employment Status of Youths: An Update," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(1), pages 27-46.
  18. Chang-Tai Hsieh, 2003. "Do Consumers React to Anticipated Income Changes? Evidence from the Alaska Permanent Fund," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 397-405, March.
  19. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Dirk Krueger, 2004. "Consumption and Saving over the Life Cycle: How Important are Consumer Durables?," 2004 Meeting Papers 357b, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  21. Brahima Coulibaly & Geng Li, 2006. "Do Homeowners Increase Consumption after the Last Mortgage Payment? An Alternative Test of the Permanent Income Hypothesis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 10-19, February.
  22. David Neumark & William L. Wascher, 2008. "Minimum Wages," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262141027, December.
  23. Addison, John T. & Blackburn, McKinley L., 1998. "Minimum Wages and Poverty," ZEW Discussion Papers 98-42, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  24. Eric French & Bhashkar Mazumder & Christopher Taber, 2005. "The changing pattern of wage growth for low skilled workers," Working Paper Series WP-05-24, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  25. M. Dolores Collado & Martín Browning, 1999. "-The Response Of Expenditures To Anticipated Income Changes: Panel Data Estimates," Working Papers. Serie AD 1999-19, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  26. Nicholas S. Souleles, 1999. "The Response of Household Consumption to Income Tax Refunds," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 947-958, September.
  27. Harald Uhlig & Martin Lettau, 1999. "Rules of Thumb versus Dynamic Programming," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 148-174, March.
  28. Barrow, Lisa & McGranahan, Leslie, 2000. "The Effects of the Earned Income Credit on the Seasonality of Household Expenditures," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 4), pages 1211-44, December.
  29. Daniel Aaronson, 2001. "Price Pass-Through And The Minimum Wage," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 158-169, February.
  30. Jonathan A. Parker, 1999. "The Reaction of Household Consumption to Predictable Changes in Social Security Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 959-973, September.
  31. Christopher D. Carroll, 1996. "Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 5788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 149-185.
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