Humps and bumps in lifetime consumption
There is much debate over whether the life-cycle model of consumption can explain consumption growth patterns patterns observed in household level data sources. We argue that once one departs from simple classroom example, or 'stripped down life-cycle model', the empirical model for consumption growth can be made flexible enough to fit the main features of the data. Using simulation techniques to assess the predictions of a life-cycle model estimated on US consumption data, we find that: Allowing demographic variables to affect household preferences and relaxing assumptions about the effects of uncertainty can generate hump-shaped consumption profiles over age that are very similar to those observed in household level data sources, without appealing to alternative explanations such as liquidity constraints, myopia or mental accounting. Humps in consumption paths are partly attributable to precautionary savings, and partly due to demographics; Bumps (or tracking - whereby consumption jumps with income) are instead due to the permanent nature of income shocks. Neglecting the effects of uncertainty produces consumption profiles that are 'too flat', whereas neglecting the effects of demographics generates consumption profiles that peak 'too late'.
|Date of creation:||01 Jan 1995|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: The Institute for Fiscal Studies 7 Ridgmount Street LONDON WC1E 7AE|
Phone: (+44) 020 7291 4800
Fax: (+44) 020 7323 4780
Web page: http://www.ifs.org.uk
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Postal: The Institute for Fiscal Studies 7 Ridgmount Street LONDON WC1E 7AE|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Altug, Sumru & Miller, Robert A, 1990.
"Household Choices in Equilibrium,"
Econometric Society, vol. 58(3), pages 543-570, May.
- Sumru Altug & Robert Miller, "undated". "Household Choices in Equilibrium," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 87-8, Chicago - Population Research Center.
- Sumru Altug & Robert A. Miller, 1987. "Household choices in equilibrium," Working Papers 341, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
- Marcet, Albert & Singleton, Kenneth J., 1999. "Equilibrium Asset Prices And Savings Of Heterogeneous Agents In The Presence Of Incomplete Markets And Portfolio Constraints," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 243-277, June.
- Albert Marcet & Kenneth J. Singleton, 1990. "Equilibrium asset prices and savings of heterogeneous agents in the presence of incomplete markets and portfolio constraints," Economics Working Papers 319, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 1998.
- Joseph G. Altonji & Aloysius Siow, 1987. "Testing the Response of Consumption to Income Changes with (Noisy) Panel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 293-328.
- Joseph G. Altonji & Aloysius Siow, 1986. "Testing the Response of Consumption to Income Changes with (Noisy) PanelData," NBER Working Papers 2012, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Abowd, John M & Card, David, 1989. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 411-445, March.
- John M. Abowd & David Card, 1986. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," NBER Working Papers 1832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Judd, Kenneth L., 1992. "Projection methods for solving aggregate growth models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 410-452, December. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:95/14. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Emma Hyman)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.