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Consumer Durables and Inertial Behavior: Estimation and Aggregation of (S,s) Rules

  • Orazio P. Attanasio

This paper presents an (S,s) model for automobile consumption and estimates it using a data set of US households. The model allows for unobserved heterogeneity in both the target level and the band width, takes into account the possibility of a zero desired level, constrains the band to be non negative and allows asymmetric bands. The model is estimated on a novel data set which contains information on both stock values and automobile expenditure for a large number of households observed over a period of a year. The (S,s) rule is specified in terms of the ratio of car stock to non durables. The shortcuts usually employed in the empirical literature on (S,s) rules can be avoided thanks to the richness of the data set and the rigorous specification of the stochastic model. Having estimated the model and considered `goodness of fit' measures, aggregation issues are considered. First, the paper presents a number of negative results. Then, several simulations aimed at evaluating the effects induced by inertial behavior on aggregate dynamics are considered.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w5282.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5282.

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Date of creation: Sep 1995
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Publication status: published as Attanasio, Orazio P. "Consumer Durables And Inertial Behaviour: Estimation And Aggregation Of (S,s) Rules For Automobile Purchases," Review of Economic Studies, 2000, v67(233,Oct), 659-697.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5282
Note: EFG
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  1. Caballero, R.J. & Engel, E.M.R.A., 1990. "Dynamic (S,S) Economies," Discussion Papers 1990_44, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  2. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel, 1994. "Explaining Investment Dynamics in U.S. Manufacturing: A Generalized (S,s) Approach," NBER Working Papers 4887, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Sanford J. Grossman & Guy Laroque, 1987. "Asset Pricing and Optimal Portfolio Choice in the Presence of Illiquid Durable Consumption Goods," NBER Working Papers 2369, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel, 1992. "Microeconomic Adjustment Hazards and Aggregate Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 4090, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. J. Joseph Beaulieu, 1993. "Utilizing cross-sectional evidence in modeling aggregate time series: consumer durables with fixed costs of adjustment," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 93-13, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Eberly, J.C., 1990. "Adjustment of Consumers'durables Stocks: Evidence from Automobile Purchases," Weiss Center Working Papers 22-91, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
  7. Caballero, Ricardo J, 1993. "Durable Goods: An Explanation for Their Slow Adjustment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 351-84, April.
  8. Caplin, Andrew S, 1985. "The Variability of Aggregate Demand with (S, s) Inventory Policies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1395-1409, November.
  9. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1995. "Product Differentiation and Oligopoly in International Markets: The Case of the U.S. Automobile Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 891-951, July.
  10. Avner Bar-Ilan & Alan S. Blinder, 1987. "Consumer Durables and the Optimality of Usually Doing Nothing," NBER Working Papers 2488, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Attanasio, Orazio P & Weber, Guglielmo, 1993. "Consumption Growth, the Interest Rate and Aggregation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 631-49, July.
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