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Habit Persistence and Durability in Aggregate Consumption: Empirical Tests

  • Wayne E. Ferson
  • George M. Constantinides

Habit persistence in consumption preferences and durability of consumption goods are two hypotheses which imply time-nonseparability in the derived utility for consumption expenditures. We study a simple model with both effects, in which lagged consumption expenditures enter the Euler equation. Habit persistence implies that the coefficients on the lagged expenditures are negative, while durability implies positive coefficients. If both effects are present, then estimating the sign of the coefficients addresses the question as to which of the two effects is dominant. Earlier empirical work on monthly data supported the durability of consumption expenditures. We estimate and test the Euler equation using monthly, quarterly and annual data and find evidence that habit persistence dominates the effect of durability.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3631.

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Date of creation: Feb 1991
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Publication status: published as Journal of Financial Economics, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 199-240, (October 1991)
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3631
Note: ME
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Ferson, Wayne E & Harvey, Campbell R, 1992. " Seasonality and Consumption-Based Asset Pricing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 511-52, June.
  2. English, William B & Miron, Jeffrey A & Wilcox, David W, 1989. "Seasonal Fluctuations and the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Model of Consumption: A Correction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 988-91, August.
  3. S.G. Cecchetti & P. Lam & N.C. Mark, 2010. "The equity premium and the risk-free rate: matching the moments," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1396, David K. Levine.
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  7. Lars Peter Hansen & Ravi Jagannathan, 1990. "Implications of security market data for models of dynamic economies," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 29, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Ferson, Wayne E., 1983. "Expectations of Real Interest Rates and Aggregate Consumption: Empirical Tests," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(04), pages 477-497, December.
  9. Sundaresan, Suresh M, 1989. "Intertemporally Dependent Preferences and the Volatility of Consumption and Wealth," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 2(1), pages 73-89.
  10. Robert E. Hall, 1981. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," NBER Working Papers 0720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Martin S. Eichenbaum & Lars Peter Hansen, 1987. "Estimating Models with Intertemporal Substitution Using Aggregate Time Series Data," NBER Working Papers 2181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Constantinides, George M, 1990. "Habit Formation: A Resolution of the Equity Premium Puzzle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 519-43, June.
  16. Donald B. Keim & Robert F. Stambaugh, . "Predicting Returns in the Stock and Bond Markets," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-85, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
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  18. David K. Backus & Allan W. Gregory & Chris I. Telmer, 1990. "Accounting for Forward Rates in Markets for Foreign Currency," Working Papers 792, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  19. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Statistical Properties of Generalized Method-of-Moments Estimators of Structural Parameters Obtained from Financial Market Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 4(4), pages 397-416, October.
  20. 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 315-27, July.
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  23. Kocherlakota, Narayana R., 1990. "On tests of representative consumer asset pricing models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 285-304, October.
  24. Stambaugh, Robert F., 1988. "The information in forward rates : Implications for models of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 41-70, May.
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