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Decomposing Changes in Income Risk Using Consumption Data

  • Blundell, Richard

    ()

    (University College London)

  • Low, Hamish

    ()

    (University of Cambridge)

  • Preston, Ian

    ()

    (University College London)

We develop a new approach to the decomposition of income risk within a nonstationary model of intertemporal choice. The approach allows for changes in income risk over the life-cycle and with the business cycle. It requires only repeated cross-section data and can allow for mixtures of persistent and transitory components in the dynamic process for income. Evidence from a stochastic simulation of consumption choices in a nonstationarity environment is used to show the robustness of the method for decomposing income risk. The approach is used to investigate the changes in income risk in Britain across the inequality growth period from the late 1970s to the late 1990s. Peaks in the variance of permanent shocks are shown to occur in the middle of the 1980s and the early 1990s.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6125.

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Length: 62 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Quantitative Economics, 2013, 4 (1), 1–37
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6125
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  1. Dirk Krueger & Fabrizio Perri, 2002. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality? Evidence and Theory," NBER Working Papers 9202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Campbell, John, 1993. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing Without Consumption Data," Scholarly Articles 3221491, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Low, Hamish & Meghir, Costas & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2007. "Wage Risk and Employment Risk Over the Life Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 6187, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley, 2009. "Shocks, Stocks, and Socks: Smoothing Consumption Over a Temporary Income Loss," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(6), pages 1169-1192, December.
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  8. Richard Blundell & Luigi Pistaferri & Ian Preston, 2008. "Consumption Inequality and Partial Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1887-1921, December.
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  11. Christopher D Carroll, 1990. "Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis," Economics Working Paper Archive 371, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Aug 1996.
  12. Haider, S.J., 2000. "Earnings Instability and Earnings Inequality of Males in the United States: 1967-1991," Papers 00-15, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  13. Gosling, Amanda & Machin, Stephen, 1995. "Trade Unions and the Dispersion of Earnings in British Establishments, 1980-90," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(2), pages 167-84, May.
  14. Costas Meghir & Luigi Pistaferri, 2001. "Income variance dynamics and heterogenity," IFS Working Papers W01/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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  16. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 2002. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 47-89, January.
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  18. Fatih Guvenen, 2005. "Learning Your Earning: Are Labor Income Shocks Really Very Persistent?," Macroeconomics 0507004, EconWPA.
  19. Sumru Altug & Robert A. Miller, 1987. "Household choices in equilibrium," Working Papers 341, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  20. Orazio P. Attanasio & Guglielmo Weber, 1994. "Is Consumption Growth Consistent with Intertemporal Optimization? Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey," NBER Working Papers 4795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. David M. Cutler & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Rising Inequality? Changes in the Distribution of Income and Consumption in the 1980s," NBER Working Papers 3964, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. 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.
  23. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "Income Inequality In The United States, 1913-1998," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-39, February.
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  25. Deaton, Angus & Paxson, Christina, 1994. "Intertemporal Choice and Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 437-67, June.
  26. 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.
  27. Richard Blundell & Ian Preston, 1995. "Income, expenditure and the living standards of UK households," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 16(3), pages 40-54, August.
  28. Gosling, Amanda & Machin, Stephen & Meghir, Costas, 2000. "The Changing Distribution of Male Wages in the U.K," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 635-66, October.
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  30. Baker, Michael, 1997. "Growth-Rate Heterogeneity and the Covariance Structure of Life-Cycle Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 338-75, April.
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