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Excess Sensitivity and Asymmetries in Consumption: an Empirical Investigation

  • Garcia, R.
  • Lusardi, A.
  • Ng, S.

Most empirical studies on liquidity constraints classify a consumer as being constrained on the basis of a single indicator such as the asset to income ratio. In this analysis, the authors model the probability that a consumer faces liquidity constraints as a function of multiple social and economic factors. This probability function is estimated simultaneously with the degree of excess sensitivity of consumption to income in a switching regressions framework. The switching regressions apply optimal weights to the densities for the Euler equations in the two states and are less susceptible to sample misclassification. Our results based on data from the CEX confirm that liquidity constrained consumers are excessively sensitive to variables already known to economic agents. However, there is also evidence that the unconstrained consumers exhibit behavior that is inconsistent with the theoretical predictions. Further analysis suggests that such behavior could be explained by time non-separable preferences. Copyright 1997 by Ohio State University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1866/2027
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Paper provided by Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 9511.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montde:9511
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  1. Bowman, David & Minehart, Debby & Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Loss Aversion in a Savings Model," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0gf4p3ts, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Attanasio, Orazio P & Browning, Martin, 1995. "Consumption over the Life Cycle and over the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1118-37, December.
  3. Abel, A.B., 1990. "Asset Prices Under Habit Formation And Catching Up With The Joneses," Weiss Center Working Papers 1-90, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
  4. 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.
  5. Eberly, Janice C, 1994. "Adjustment of Consumers' Durables Stocks: Evidence from Automobile Purchases," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 403-36, June.
  6. Attanasio, Orazio P., 1995. "The intertemporal allocation of consumption: theory and evidence," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 39-56, June.
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