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The Response of Consumer Spending to Changes in Gasoline Prices

Author

Listed:
  • Michael Gelman
  • Yuriy Gorodnichenko
  • Shachar Kariv
  • Dmitri Koustas
  • Matthew D. Shapiro
  • Dan Silverman
  • Steven Tadelis

Abstract

This paper estimates how overall consumer spending responds to changes in gasoline prices. It uses the differential impact across consumers of the sudden, large drop in gasoline prices in 2014 for identification. This estimation strategy is implemented using comprehensive, high-frequency transaction-level data for a large panel of individuals. The estimated marginal propensity to consume (MPC) out of unanticipated, permanent shocks to income is approximately one. This estimate takes into account the elasticity of demand for gasoline and potential slow adjustment to changes in prices. The high MPC implies that changes in gasoline prices have large aggregate effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Gelman & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Shachar Kariv & Dmitri Koustas & Matthew D. Shapiro & Dan Silverman & Steven Tadelis, 2016. "The Response of Consumer Spending to Changes in Gasoline Prices," NBER Working Papers 22969, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22969
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John Sabelhaus & David Johnson & Stephen Ash & David Swanson & Thesia I. Garner & John Greenlees & Steve Henderson, 2014. "Is the Consumer Expenditure Survey Representative by Income?," NBER Chapters,in: Improving the Measurement of Consumer Expenditures, pages 241-262 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2010. "The Consumption Response to Income Changes," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 479-506, September.
    3. repec:aea:aejpol:v:9:y:2017:i:3:p:314-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Nicholas S. Souleles & Jonathan A. Parker & David S. Johnson, 2006. "Household Expenditure and the Income Tax Rebates of 2001," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1589-1610, December.
    5. Anderson, Soren T. & Kellogg, Ryan & Sallee, James M., 2013. "What do consumers believe about future gasoline prices?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 383-403.
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    7. Puller, Steven L. & Greening, Lorna A., 1999. "Household adjustment to gasoline price change: an analysis using 9 years of US survey data," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 37-52, February.
    8. Dora Gicheva & Justine Hastings & Sofia Villas-Boas, 2010. "Investigating Income Effects in Scanner Data: Do Gasoline Prices Affect Grocery Purchases?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 480-484, May.
    9. Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Errors in variables in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 93-118, February.
    10. Lutz Kilian, 2008. "The Economic Effects of Energy Price Shocks," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 871-909, December.
    11. Laurence Levin & Matthew S. Lewis & Frank A. Wolak, 2017. "High Frequency Evidence on the Demand for Gasoline," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 314-347, August.
    12. Jonathan E. Hughes & Christopher R. Knittel & Daniel Sperling, 2008. "Evidence of a Shift in the Short-Run Price Elasticity of Gasoline Demand," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 113-134.
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    16. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Lorenz Kueng & John Silvia, 2012. "Innocent Bystanders? Monetary Policy and Inequality in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 18170, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Coibion, Olivier & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Koustas, Dmitri, 2017. "Consumption Inequality and the Frequency of Purchases," IZA Discussion Papers 10882, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy

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