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International Adjustment with Habit-Forming Consumption: A Diagrammatic Exposition

  • Maurice Obstfeld

This paper presents a simple diagrammatic analysis of an open economy's external adjustment process under habit-forming individual preferences. The exposition focuses on the consumption side and aims to make transparent the linkage among wealth, past consumption experience, and current consumption. An extension of the standard representative-agent model to a growing economy of overlapping generations completes the paper. Under habit formation an agent's consumption exhibits a form of hysteresis, in that his current consumption depends on his past consumption experience as well as initial assets. In the overlapping-generations model aggregate hysteresis disappears in the long run.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w4094.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4094.

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Date of creation: Jun 1992
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Publication status: published as Review of International Economics, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 32-48 (November 1992)
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4094
Note: ITI
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  1. 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.
  2. G. Constantinides, 1990. "Habit formation: a resolution of the equity premium puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1397, David K. Levine.
  3. Weil, Philippe, 1989. "Overlapping families of infinitely-lived agents," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 183-198, March.
  4. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1989. "Fiscal deficits and relative prices in a growing world economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 461-484, May.
  5. Ryder, Harl E, Jr & Heal, Geoffrey M, 1973. "Optimum Growth with Intertemporally Dependent Preferences," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 1-33, January.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Alogoskoufis, George S. & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1991. "On budgetary policies, growth, and external deficits in an interdependent world," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 305-324, December.
  9. Shi, Shouyong & Epstein, Larry G, 1993. "Habits and Time Preference," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(1), pages 61-84, February.
  10. Richard Beals & Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1967. "Maximizing Stationary Utility in a Constant Technology," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 229, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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