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The Life-Cycle Permanent-Income Model and Consumer Durables

  • Avner Bar-Ilan
  • Alan S. Blinder

This paper presents an extension of the life-cycle permanent-income model of consumption to the case of a durable good whose purchase involves lumpy trans- actions costs. Where individual behavior is concerned, the implications of the model are different in some respects from those of standard consumption theory. Specifically, rather than choose an optimal path for the service flow from durables, the optimizing consumer will choose an optimal range and try to keep his service flow inside that range. The dynamics implied by this behavior is different from that of the stock adjustment model. Properties of aggregate durables consumption are derived by explicit aggregation. In particular, it is shown that expenditures on durables display very large short-run elasticity to changes in permanent income. Empirical tests of the sort suggested by Hall (1978) generally produce results that are in line with the predictions of the theory.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2149.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2149.

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Date of creation: Jan 1987
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Publication status: published as Annales d'Economie et de Statistique No. 9,,, pp.71-91, Jan-March 1988
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2149
Note: EFG
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  1. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-87, December.
  2. 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.
  3. Flemming, J S, 1969. "The Utility of Wealth and the Utility of Windfalls," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(105), pages 55-66, January.
  4. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  5. Bernanke, Ben, 1985. "Adjustment costs, durables, and aggregate consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 41-68, January.
  6. Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1982. "Hall's consumption hypothesis and durable goods," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 417-425.
  7. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521296762 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Bils, Mark J, 1985. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 666-89, August.
  9. Abel, Andrew B., 1980. "Empirical investment equations : An integrative framework," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 39-91, January.
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