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Shocks and Crashes

  • Martin Lettau
  • Sydney C. Ludvigson

Three shocks, distinguished by whether their effects are permanent or transitory, are identified to characterize the post-war dynamics of aggregate consumer spending, labor earnings, and household wealth. The first shock accounts for virtually all of the variation in consumption; we argue that it can be plausibly interpreted as a permanent total factor productivity shock. The second shock, which underlies the vast bulk of quarterly fluctuations in labor income growth, permanently reallocates rewards between shareholders and workers but leaves consumption unaffected. Over the last 25 years, the cumulative effect of this shock has persistently boosted stock market wealth and persistently lowered labor earnings. We call this a factors share shock. The third shock is a persistent but transitory innovation that accounts for the vast majority of quarterly fluctuations in asset values but has a negligible impact on consumption and labor earnings at all horizons. We call this an exogenous risk aversion shock. We show that the 2000-02 asset market crash and recession surrounding it was characterized by a negative transitory wealth (positive risk aversion) shock, predominantly affecting stock market wealth. By contrast, the 2007-09 crash and recession was characterized by a string of large negative productivity shocks, as well as positive risk aversion shocks.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16996.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16996.

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Date of creation: Apr 2011
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Publication status: published as Shocks and Crashes , Martin Lettau, Sydney C. Ludvigson. in NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2013, Volume 28 , Parker and Woodford. 2014
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16996
Note: AP EFG ME
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  1. Pietro Veronesi & Lubos Pastor, 2005. "Was There a Nasdaq Bubble in the Late 1990s?," 2005 Meeting Papers 95, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Alan S. Blinder & Angus Deaton, 1985. "The Time Series Consumption Function Revisited," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 16(2), pages 465-521.
  3. Martin Lettau & Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2004. "The Declining Equity Premium: What Role Does Macroeconomic Risk Play?," 2004 Meeting Papers 644, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Flavin, Marjorie A, 1981. "The Adjustment of Consumption to Changing Expectations about Future Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 974-1009, October.
  5. Ogaki, M. & Park, Y.Y., 1989. "A Cointegration Approach To Estimating Preference Parameters," RCER Working Papers 209, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  6. Hanno Lustig & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2008. "The Returns on Human Capital: Good News on Wall Street is Bad News on Main Street," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(5), pages 2097-2137, September.
  7. Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor & Santaeulàlia-Llopis, Raül, 2010. "Redistributive shocks and productivity shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(8), pages 931-948, November.
  8. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
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