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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 University of Oxford & Nuffield College)

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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    Cited by:

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    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. Daria Pignalosa, 2019. "On the role of the utility function in the estimation of preference parameters," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(4), pages 793-820, November.
    5. Darong Dai, 2018. "Intellectual property rights and R&D subsidies: are they complementary policies?," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 125(1), pages 27-49, September.
    6. Michael Nwogugu, 2020. "Regret Theory And Asset Pricing Anomalies In Incomplete Markets With Dynamic Un-Aggregated Preferences," Papers 2005.01709, arXiv.org.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Antonio Cutanda & José M. Labeaga & Juan A. Sanchis-Llopis, 2020. "Aggregation biases in empirical Euler consumption equations: evidence from Spanish data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 58(3), pages 957-977, March.
    10. Wilson Cruz Vieira & Alberto Bucci & Simone Marsiglio, 2021. "Welfare and Convergence Speed in the Ramsey Model Under Two Classes of Gorman Preferences," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 7(1), pages 37-58, March.
    11. King Yoong Lim & Shuonan Zhang, 2020. "Commodity Shocks and Optimal Fiscal Management of Resource Revenue in an Economy with State-owned Enterprises," NBS Discussion Papers in Economics 2020/02, Economics, Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University.
    12. Jonathan Temple & Huikang Ying & Patrick Carter, 2014. "Transfers and Transformations: Remittances, Foreign Aid, and Growth," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 14/649, School of Economics, University of Bristol, UK, revised 02 Dec 2014.
    13. H. Kim & Keith McLaren & K. Wong, 2013. "Empirical demand systems incorporating intertemporal consumption dynamics," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 349-370, August.
    14. Jeremy Lise, 2013. "On-the-Job Search and Precautionary Savings," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(3), pages 1086-1113.
    15. Mumtaz, Haroon & Surico, Paolo, 2014. "The Transmission Mechanism in Good and Bad Times," CEPR Discussion Papers 10083, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Keshav Dogra & Olga Gorbachev, 2016. "Consumption Volatility, Liquidity Constraints and Household Welfare," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(597), pages 2012-2037, November.
    17. 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.
    18. 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.
    19. Heinrichs, Katrin & Wagner, Helmut, 2019. "Positive trend inflation and the Phillips curve – A tale of two slopes and various impulse responses," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 283-307.
    20. Fabio Monteforte & Mathan Satchi & Jonathan Temple, 2019. "Development Priorities: The Relative Benefits of Agricultural Growth," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 19/716, School of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    21. Julian Thimme, 2017. "Intertemporal Substitution In Consumption: A Literature Review," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(1), pages 226-257, February.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Elasticity of intertemporal substitution; Euler equation estimation; demand systems;
    All these keywords.

    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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