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Consumption

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  • Robert E. Hall

Abstract

Macroeconomic research on consumption has been influenced profoundly by rational expectations. First, rational expectations together with the hypothesis of constant expected real interest rates implies that consumption should evolve as a random walk. Much of the research of the past decade has been devoted to testing the random walk hypothesis and to explaining its failure. Three branches of the literature have developed. The first relies on the durability of consumption to explain deviations from the random walk property. The second invokes liquidity constraints which block consumers from the credit market transactions needed to make consumption follow a random walk when income fluctuates up and down. The third branch dispenses with the assumption that expected real interest rates are constant. It attempts to explain deviations from the random walk in terms of intertemporal substitution.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert E. Hall, 1987. "Consumption," NBER Working Papers 2265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2265 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 971-987, December.
    2. Zeldes, Stephen P, 1989. "Consumption and Liquidity Constraints: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, pages 305-346.
    3. Grossman, S J & Melino, Angelo & Shiller, Robert J, 1987. "Estimating the Continuous-Time Consumption-Based Asset-Pricing Model," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 5(3), pages 315-327, July.
    4. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1983. "Stochastic Consumption, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Asset Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 249-265, April.
    5. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1992. "Information-Aggregation Bias," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 508-519, June.
    6. Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 1980. "Formulating and estimating dynamic linear rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 7-46, May.
    7. Martin Browning, 1987. "Eating, Drinking, Smoking, and Testing the Lifecycle Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 329-345.
    8. Darby, Michael R, 1972. "The Allocation of Transitory Income Among Consumers' Assets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 928-941, December.
    9. Shiller, Robert J., 1982. "Consumption, asset markets and macroeconomic fluctuations," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, pages 203-238.
    10. Sims, Christopher A & Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 1990. "Inference in Linear Time Series Models with Some Unit Roots," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 113-144, January.
    11. John Geweke, 1999. "Using simulation methods for bayesian econometric models: inference, development,and communication," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 1-73.
    12. Daly, Vince & Hadjimatheou, George, 1981. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Evidence for the U. K. Economy: Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(3), pages 596-599, June.
    13. Joseph G. Altonji & Aloysius Siow, 1987. "Testing the Response of Consumption to Income Changes with (Noisy) Panel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 293-328.
    14. Peter M. Garber & Robert G. King, 1983. "Deep Structral Excavation? A Critique of Euler Equation Methods," NBER Technical Working Papers 0031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Selden, Larry, 1978. "A New Representation of Preferences over "Certain A Uncertain" Consumption Pairs: The "Ordinal Certainty Equivalent" Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1045-1060, September.
    16. Sargent, Thomas J, 1978. "Rational Expectations, Econometric Exogeneity, and Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(4), pages 673-700, August.
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