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Optimal Endowment Destruction under Campbell-Cochrane Habit Formation

  • Lars Ljungqvist
  • Harald Uhlig

Campbell and Cochrane (1999) formulate a model that successfully explains a wide variety of asset pricing puzzles, by augmenting the standard power utility function with a time-varying subsistence level, or "external habit", that adapts nonlinearly to current and past average consumption in the economy. This paper demonstrates, that this comes at the "price" of several unusual implications. For example, we calculate that a society of agents with the preferences and endowment process of Campbell and Cochrane (1999) would experience a welfare gain equivalent to a permanent increase of nearly 16% in consumption, if the government enforced one month of fasting per year, reducing consumption by 10 percent then. We examine and explain these features of the preferences in detail. We numerically characterize the solution to the social planning problem. We conclude that Campbell-Cochrance preferences will provide for interesting macroeconomic modeling challenges, when endogenizing aggregate consumption choices and government policy.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14772.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14772.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14772
Note: AP EFG TWP
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  1. Moore, Michael J. & Roche, Maurice J., 2002. "Less of a puzzle: a new look at the forward forex market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 387-411, December.
  2. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1995. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," NBER Working Papers 4995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Wachter, Jessica A., 2006. "A consumption-based model of the term structure of interest rates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 365-399, February.
  4. Wachter, Jessica A., 2005. "Solving models with external habit," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 210-226, December.
  5. Fatih Guvenen, 2009. "A Parsimonious Macroeconomic Model for Asset Pricing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(6), pages 1711-1750, November.
  6. Ravi Bansal & A. Ronald Gallant & George Tauchen, 2007. "Rational Pessimism, Rational Exuberance, and Asset Pricing Models," NBER Working Papers 13107, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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