The Timing of Purchases and Aggregate Fluctuations
This paper analyzes how the decision of when to buy a durable good affects both non-durable consumption and business cycle dynamics. At the individual level, we show that the timing of durable goods purchases plays an important role in smoothing consumption over time. In the benchmark case, the time at which the agent purchases the durable good is the only variable that reacts to changes in wealth, while other variables, such as the consumption of non-durables or the amount of the durable that the individual purchases, remain unchanged. At the aggregate level, we show that timing decisions can serve as a mechanism for the amplification and propagation of aggregate shocks. A decline in wealth causes individuals to delay their durable goods purchases which reduces demand dramatically for some time.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2000|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published as "Sectoral Shocks, Learning, and Aggregate Fluctuations", Review of Economic Studies, Vol. 60, no. 205 (1993): 777-794.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
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