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The Relationship between Consumption, Income and Wealth in Hong Kong

  • Joanne Cutler

    (Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)

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    This paper sets out to estimate a consumption function for Hong Kong along the lines of the standard Life-Cycle Model formulated by Ando and Modigliani (1963). This is not a straightforward exercise given the lack of official estimates of household sector income and wealth holdings in Hong Kong. The paper reports the results of empirical tests between alternative proxies for aggregate labour income which are derived from official estimates of average pay and employment, and employs a new series developed by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for private sector housing wealth. We find a stable relationship between consumption, labour income and wealth in Hong Kong with plausible long run estimates of the implied marginal propensity to consume out of income and wealth. In particular, the marginal propensity to consume out of housing wealth is estimated to be lower than in other industrialised economies which is consistent with a relatively uneven distribution of wealth in Hong Kong. Arithmetically, the decline in housing wealth in Hong Kong since 1997 can more than account for the weakness of consumption since then.

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    File URL: http://www.hkimr.org/uploads/publication/261/ub_full_0_2_74_wp200401_text.pdf
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    Paper provided by Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research in its series Working Papers with number 012004.

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    Length: 28 pages
    Date of creation: Jan 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hkm:wpaper:012004
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    1. 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.
    2. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Christopher D. Carroll, 1992. "The Buffer-Stock Theory of Saving: Some Macroeconomic Evidence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 61-156.
    4. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income, and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Bacchetta, Philippe & Gerlach, Stefan, 1997. "Consumption and credit constraints: International evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 207-238, October.
    6. Davidson, James E H, et al, 1978. "Econometric Modelling of the Aggregate Time-Series Relationship between Consumers' Expenditure and Income in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 88(352), pages 661-92, December.
    7. Carol C. Bertaut, 2002. "Equity prices, household wealth, and consumption growth in foreign industrial countries: wealth effects in the 1990s," International Finance Discussion Papers 724, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Gali, Jordi, 1990. "Finite horizons, life-cycle savings, and time-series evidence on consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 433-452, December.
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