Alternative Specifications for Consumption and the Estimation of the Intertemporal Elasticity of Substitution
This paper documents several advantages associated with using state level consumption data to examine consumption behavior and especially to estimate the Intertemporal Elasticity of Substitution (IES). In contrast to the results of Hall (1988) and Campbell and Mankiw (1989), we provide substantial evidence indicating that the IES is significantly different from zero and probably close to one. Since the overidentifying restrictions of the standard Euler equation are generally rejected, we use these data to explore the nature of these rejections and evaluate an alternative specification of consumer behavior proposed by Campbell and Mankiw (1987, 1989, 1990). We take special care of examining the robustness of our results with respect to problems caused by the mismeasurement of the interest rate. In particular, we identify a common time component in expected consumption growth across states which, under the specifications of the theory, should reflect real interest rate movements. We find that the common time component closely matches the expected real return on Treasury bills as should be expected if the IES is different from zero and if the T-bill rate is an appropriate measure of interest rates.
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"Permanent Income, Current Income, and Consumption,"
NBER Working Papers
2436, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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NBER Working Papers
0505, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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- Charles R. Nelson & Richard Startz, 1988.
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NBER Technical Working Papers
0069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Nelson, Charles R & Startz, Richard, 1990. "The Distribution of the Instrumental Variables Estimator and Its t-Ratio When the Instrument Is a Poor One," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(1), pages 125-140, January.
- Nelson, C. & Startz, R., 1988. "The Distribution Of The Instrumental Variables Estimator And Its T-Ratio When The Instrument Is A Poor One," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 88-07, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
- Nelson, C. & Startz, R., 1988. "The Distribution Of The Instrumental Variables Estimator And Its T-Ratio When The Instrument Is A Poor One," Working Papers 88-07, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
- Robert E. Hall, 1981.
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0720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1981. "The permanent income hypothesis and the real interest rate," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 307-311.
- Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "Capital Taxation and Accumulation in a Life Cycle Growth Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 533-544, September.
- Tullio Jappelli, 1990. "Who is Credit Constrained in the U. S. Economy?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 219-234.
- 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 249-265, April.
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