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Intertemporal Dependence, Impatience, and Dynamics

  • Maurice Obstfeld

This paper develops simple geometric methods for analyzing dynamic behavior in models with intertemporally dependent consumer tastes. Since the preferences studied do not assume time-additivity, they allow the marginal utility of consumption on a given date to vary with consumption on other dates. Intertemporal dependence is induced by the presence of a variable individual rate of time preference. The optimal consumption responses to transitory and anticipated changes in incomes and interest rates are easily derived and are similar in important ways to the responses implied by the standard model with constant time preference. Intuitive explanations of the first-order conditions describing optimal paths are provided.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3028.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3028.

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Date of creation: Jul 1989
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Monetary Economics, Vol. 26, pp. 45-75, (1990).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3028
Note: EFG
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  1. Becker, Robert A. & Boyd, John III & Sung, Bom Yong, 1989. "Recursive utility and optimal capital accumulation. I. Existence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 76-100, February.
  2. Kenneth L. Judd, 1982. "Redistributive Taxation in a Simple Perfect Foresight Model," Discussion Papers 572, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Hayashi, Fumio, 1985. "The Permanent Income Hypothesis and Consumption Durability: Analysis Based on Japanese Panel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1083-1113, November.
  4. Bergman, Yaacov Z., 1985. "Time preference and capital asset pricing models," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 145-159, March.
  5. Becker, Robert A, 1980. "On the Long-Run Steady State in a Simple Dynamic Model of Equilibrium with Heterogeneous Households," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 375-82, September.
  6. Svensson, Lars E O & Razin, Assaf, 1983. "The Terms of Trade and the Current Account: The Harberger-Laursen-Metzler Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 97-125, February.
  7. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1982. "Aggregate Spending and the Terms of Trade: Is There a Laursen-Metzler Effect?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(2), pages 251-70, May.
  8. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
  9. Buiter, Willem H, 1981. "Time Preference and International Lending and Borrowing in an Overlapping-Generations Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 769-97, August.
  10. Wan, Henry, 1970. "Optimal Saving Programs under Intertemporally Dependent Preferences," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 11(3), pages 521-47, October.
  11. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1984. "Optimal growth with many consumers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 139-171, February.
  12. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1963. "On the Concept of Optimal Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 163, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  13. G. Constantinides, 1990. "Habit formation: a resolution of the equity premium puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1397, David K. Levine.
  14. Philippe Weil, 1989. "Money, Time Preference and External Balance," NBER Working Papers 2822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Dunn, Kenneth B. & Singleton, Kenneth J., 1986. "Modeling the term structure of interest rates under non-separable utility and durability of goods," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 27-55, September.
  16. Nairay, Alain, 1984. "Asymptotic behavior and optimal properties of a consumption-investment model with variable time preference," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 283-313, September.
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