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Income Asymmetries and the Permanent Income Hypothesis

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  • Juan Urquiza

Abstract

Within the context of the Permanent Income Hypothesis (PIH), the predictions for consumption depend crucially upon the process for income. In this paper, we consider an unobserved components model that allows for both asymmetric transitory movements and correlation between permanent and transitory innovations. Using aggregate U.S. data, we show that this model fits labor income data significantly better than common alternatives. However, we find that consumption is excessively smooth relative to the predictions of our model. To reconcile these predictions with the data, we explore the possibility of imperfect information. A delayed information version of the model fits the data better but consumption is excessively sensitive compared to the predictions of this model. We are able to match the data when we consider an economy in which 60 – 65% of consumers behave according to the PIH with full information and the remaining consumers have delayed information.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Urquiza, 2011. "Income Asymmetries and the Permanent Income Hypothesis," Documentos de Trabajo 409, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  • Handle: RePEc:ioe:doctra:409
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    File URL: http://www.economia.uc.cl/docs/dt_409.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Orazio P. Attanasio & Nicola Pavoni, 2011. "Risk Sharing in Private Information Models With Asset Accumulation: Explaining the Excess Smoothness of Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(4), pages 1027-1068, July.
    2. 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.
    3. Nelson, Charles R. & Startz, Richard, 2007. "The zero-information-limit condition and spurious inference in weakly identified models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 47-62, May.
    4. McKay, Alisdair & Reis, Ricardo, 2008. "The brevity and violence of contractions and expansions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 738-751, May.
    5. Martin Sommer & Christopher Carroll, 2004. "Epidemiological expectations and consumption dynamics," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2003 92, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
    6. Charles Nelson & Eric Zivot, 2000. "Why are Beveridge-Nelson and Unobserved-Component Decompositions of GDP so Different?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0692, Econometric Society.
    7. Kim, Chang-Jin, 1994. "Dynamic linear models with Markov-switching," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 1-22.
    8. Holmes, Mark J. & Silverstone, Brian, 2006. "Okun's law, asymmetries and jobless recoveries in the United States: A Markov-switching approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 293-299, August.
    9. Silvestro Di Sanzo, 2009. "Testing for linearity in Markov switching models: a bootstrap approach," Statistical Methods & Applications, Springer;Società Italiana di Statistica, vol. 18(2), pages 153-168, July.
    10. Sydney C. Ludvigson & Alexander Michaelides, 2001. "Does Buffer-Stock Saving Explain the Smoothness and Excess Sensitivity of Consumption?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 631-647, June.
    11. Sinclair Tara M, 2009. "Asymmetry in the Business Cycle: Friedman's Plucking Model with Correlated Innovations," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 14(1), pages 1-31, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unobserved Components Models; markov-Switching; consumption dynamics; excess smoothness; excess sensitivity; imperfect information;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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