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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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Paper provided by Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ 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:montec:9511
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  1. Eberly, J.C., 1990. "Adjustment of Consumers'durables Stocks: Evidence from Automobile Purchases," Weiss Center Working Papers 22-91, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
  2. Orazio P. Attanasio & Martin Browning, 1993. "Consumption over the Life Cycle and over the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 4453, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Orazio P. Attanasio, 1994. "The Intertemporal Allocation of Consumption: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 4811, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. A. Abel, 2010. "Asset prices under habit formation and catching up with the Jones," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1395, David K. Levine.
  5. David Bowman, Debby Minehart, and Matthew Rabin., 1993. "Loss Aversion in a Savings Model," Economics Working Papers 93-212, University of California at Berkeley.
  6. 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.
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