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Is the elasticity of intertemporal substitution constant?

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  • Thomas Crossley

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies, University of Essex)

  • Hamish Low

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Trinity College, Cambridge)

Abstract

This paper shows that a power utility specification of preferences over total expenditure (ie. CRRA preferences) implies that intratemporal demands are in the PIGL/PIGLOG class. This class generates (at most) rank two demand systems and we can test the validity of power utility on cross-section data. Further, if we maintain the assumption of power utility, and within period preferences are not homothetic, then the intertemporal preference parameter is identified by the curvature of Engel curves. Under the power utility assumption, neither Euler equation estimation nor structural consumption function estimation is necessary to identify the power parameter. In our empirical work, we use demand data to estimate the power utility parameter and to test the assumption of the power utility representation. We find estimates of the power parameter larger than obtained from Euler equation estimation, but we reject the power specification of within period utility.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Crossley & Hamish Low, 2005. "Is the elasticity of intertemporal substitution constant?," IFS Working Papers W05/25, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:05/25
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Havranek, Tomas & Horvath, Roman & Irsova, Zuzana & Rusnak, Marek, 2015. "Cross-country heterogeneity in intertemporal substitution," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 100-118.
    2. Timo Boppart, 2014. "Structural Change and the Kaldor Facts in a Growth Model With Relative Price Effects and Non‐Gorman Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82, pages 2167-2196, November.
    3. Moore, Michael J. & Roche, Maurice J., 2010. "Solving exchange rate puzzles with neither sticky prices nor trade costs," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1151-1170, October.
    4. Patrick Carter & Jonathan R. W. Temple, 2017. "Virtuous Circles and the Case for Aid," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 65(2), pages 397-425, June.
    5. Biørn, Erik, 2017. "Revisiting, from a Frischian point of view, the relationship between elasticities of intratemporal and intertemporal substitution," Memorandum 04/2017, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    6. Jonathan Temple & Huikang Ying & Patrick Carter, 2014. "Transfers and Transformations: Remittances, Foreign Aid, and Growth," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 14/649, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK, revised 02 Dec 2014.
    7. Jeremy Lise, 2013. "On-the-Job Search and Precautionary Savings," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(3), pages 1086-1113.
    8. Havranek, Tomas & Horvath, Roman & Irsova, Zuzana & Rusnak, Marek, 2015. "Cross-country heterogeneity in intertemporal substitution," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 100-118.
    9. Haroon Mumtaz & Paolo Surico, 2015. "The Transmission Mechanism In Good And Bad Times," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 56, pages 1237-1260, November.
    10. Keshav Dogra & Olga Gorbachev, 2016. "Consumption Volatility, Liquidity Constraints and Household Welfare," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(597), pages 2012-2037, November.
    11. Natalia, Khorunzhina & Wayne Roy, Gayle, 2011. "Heterogenous intertemporal elasticity of substitution and relative risk aversion: estimation of optimal consumption choice with habit formation and measurement errors," MPRA Paper 34329, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. H. Kim & Keith McLaren & K. Wong, 2013. "Empirical demand systems incorporating intertemporal consumption dynamics," Empirical Economics, Springer, pages 349-370.
    13. Mumtaz, Haroon & Surico, Paolo, 2011. "Estimating the Aggregate Consumption Euler Equation with State-Dependent Parameters," CEPR Discussion Papers 8233, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Elasticity of intertemporal substitution; Euler equation estimation; demand systems;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

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