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The Implications of Richer Earnings Dynamics for Consumption and Wealth

Author

Listed:
  • Mariacristina De Nardi
  • Giulio Fella
  • Gonzalo Paz Pardo

Abstract

Earnings dynamics are much richer than those typically used in macro models with heterogenous agents. This paper provides multiple contributions. First, it proposes a simple non-parametric method to model rich earnings dynamics that is easy to estimate and introduce in structural models. Second, it applies our method to estimate a nonparametric earnings process using two data sets: the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and a large, synthetic, data set that matches the dynamics of the U.S. tax earnings. Third, it uses a life cycle model of consumption to compare the consumption and saving implications of our two estimated processes to those of a standard AR(1). We find that, unlike the standard AR(1) process, our estimated, richer earnings process generates an increase in consumption inequality over the life cycle that is consistent with the data and better fits the savings of the households at the bottom 60% of the wealth distribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Mariacristina De Nardi & Giulio Fella & Gonzalo Paz Pardo, 2016. "The Implications of Richer Earnings Dynamics for Consumption and Wealth," NBER Working Papers 21917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21917
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fatih Guvenen & Fatih Karahan & Serdar Ozkan & Jae Song, 2015. "What Do Data on Millions of U.S. Workers Reveal about Life-Cycle Earnings Risk?," NBER Working Papers 20913, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hansen, G D, 1993. "The Cyclical and Secular Behaviour of the Labour Input: Comparing Efficiency Units and Hours Worked," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 71-80, Jan.-Marc.
    3. Tauchen, George & Hussey, Robert, 1991. "Quadrature-Based Methods for Obtaining Approximate Solutions to Nonlinear Asset Pricing Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 371-396, March.
    4. Blundell, Richard & Graber, Michael & Mogstad, Magne, 2015. "Labor income dynamics and the insurance from taxes, transfers, and the family," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 58-73.
    5. Orazio P. Attanasio & Guglielmo Weber, 2010. "Consumption and Saving: Models of Intertemporal Allocation and Their Implications for Public Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(3), pages 693-751, September.
    6. Orazio Attanasio & Luigi Pistaferri, 2014. "Consumption Inequality over the Last Half Century: Some Evidence Using the New PSID Consumption Measure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 122-126, May.
    7. Jonathan D. Fisher & David S. Johnson & Timothy M. Smeeding, 2013. "Measuring the Trends in Inequality of Individuals and Families: Income and Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 184-188, May.
    8. Manuel Arellano & Richard Blundell & Stéphane Bonhomme, 2017. "Earnings and Consumption Dynamics: A Nonlinear Panel Data Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 693-734, May.
    9. Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor & Kuhn, Moritz, 2016. "2013 Update on the U.S. Earnings, Income, and Wealth Distributional Facts: A View from Macroeconomics," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue April, pages 1-75.
    10. Michael Graber & Jeremy Lise, 2016. "Labor Market Frictions, Human Capital Accumulation, and Consumption Inequality," 2016 Meeting Papers 136, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Geweke, John & Keane, Michael, 2000. "An empirical analysis of earnings dynamics among men in the PSID: 1968-1989," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 293-356, June.
    12. Mark Aguiar & Mark Bils, 2015. "Has Consumption Inequality Mirrored Income Inequality?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(9), pages 2725-2756, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Evangelos V. Dioikitopoulos & Stephen J. Turnovsky & Roland Wendner, 2017. "Dynamic Status Effects, Savings, and Income Inequality," Graz Economics Papers 2017-08, University of Graz, Department of Economics.
    2. Jess Benhabib & Alberto Bisin, 2016. "Skewed Wealth Distributions: Theory and Empirics," NBER Working Papers 21924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. THELOUDIS Alexandros, 2017. "Consumption Inequality across Heterogeneous Families," LISER Working Paper Series 2017-18, LISER.
    4. Sanchez, Manuel & Wellschmied, Felix, 2017. "Modeling Life-Cycle Earnings Risk with Positive and Negative Shocks," IZA Discussion Papers 10925, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. repec:psl:pslqrr:2017:22 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:dyncon:v:79:y:2017:i:c:p:126-153 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti & Gomes, Diego B.P., 2017. "Health care reform or more affordable health care?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 126-153.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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