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A Theory of the Consumption Function, With and Without Liquidity Constraints (Expanded Version)

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  • Christopher D. Carroll

Abstract

This paper argues that the modern stochastic consumption model, in which impatient consumers face uninsurable labor income risk, matches Milton Friedman's (1957) original description of the Permanent Income Hypothesis much better than the perfect foresight or certainty equivalent models did. The model can explain the high marginal propensity to consume, the high discount rate on future income, and the important role for precautionary behavior that were all part of Friedman's original framework. The paper also explains the relationship of these questions to the Euler equation literature, and argues that the effects of precautionary saving and liquidity constraints are often virtually indistinguishable.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher D. Carroll, 2001. "A Theory of the Consumption Function, With and Without Liquidity Constraints (Expanded Version)," NBER Working Papers 8387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8387
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Allen, Todd W. & Carroll, Christopher D., 2001. "Individual Learning About Consumption," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(02), pages 255-271, April.
    2. Bertaut, Carol C. & Haliassos, Michael, 1997. "Precautionary portfolio behavior from a life-cycle perspective," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(8-9), pages 1511-1542, June.
    3. John Campbell & Angus Deaton, 1989. "Why is Consumption So Smooth?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(3), pages 357-373.
    4. Christopher D. Carroll, 1997. "Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 1-55.
    5. Christopher D. Carroll, 1992. "The Buffer-Stock Theory of Saving: Some Macroeconomic Evidence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 61-156.
    6. repec:cup:macdyn:v:5:y:2001:i:2:p:255-71 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Campbell, John Y. & Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1991. "The response of consumption to income : A cross-country investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 723-756, May.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A23 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Graduate
    • B22 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Macroeconomics

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