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Macroeconomics and Consumption

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  • John Muellbauer

Abstract

The failure of the ubiquitous New Keynesian "Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium" (NK-DSGE) models to capture interactions of finance and the real economy is widely-recognized since the 2008-9 financial crisis. NK-DSGE models exclude money, debt and asset prices and, importantly, ignore changing credit markets. These problems stem from assuming unrealistic micro-foundations for household behaviour, and that aggregate behaviour mimics a fully-informed representative agent (both assumptions are embodied in the underlying rational expectations permanent income' hypothesis (REPIH). This survey critiques the NK-DSGE models and its integral REPIH model, and discusses alternative post-crisis general equilibrium models which do incorporate debt and allow crises to occur. But neither model type can be directly applied to policy-making. The survey reviews misspecifications in standard non-DSGE macro-models used by central banks (e.g. the Fed.'s FRB-US), and related co-integration literature linking consumption with household portfolios. These too omit most of the 'financial accelerator', ignoring credit shifts and crucially, aggregating liquid, illiquid assets, debt and housing into a single 'net worth' construct. The survey's second focus is to improve non-DSGE models for policy using the Latent Interactive Variable Equation System (LIVES) approach, in which aggregate consumption is jointly modelled with the main elements of household balance sheets, extracting credit conditions as a latent variable. Empirical work on aggregate data is surveyed revealing the important role of debt and financial assets and the time and context-dependent role of housing collateral. Rather than 'one-size-fits-all' monetary and macro-prudential policy, institutional differences between countries then imply major differences for monetary policy transmission and policy.

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  • John Muellbauer, 2016. "Macroeconomics and Consumption," Economics Series Working Papers Paper-811, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:paper-811
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    Cited by:

    1. Foster, John, 2018. "The Consumption Function: A New Perspective," MPRA Paper 84383, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Vítor Constâncio, 2020. "The return of fiscal policy and the euro area fiscal rule," Working Papers REM 2020/0127, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, REM, Universidade de Lisboa.
    3. Kurt Kratena & Gerhard Streicher, 2017. "Fiscal Policy Multipliers and Spillovers in a Multi-Regional Macroeconomic Input-Output Model," WIFO Working Papers 540, WIFO.
    4. Paul Grauwe & Yuemei Ji, 2018. "Behavioural Economics is Useful Also in Macroeconomics: The Role of Animal Spirits," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 60(2), pages 203-216, June.
    5. Enisse Kharroubi & Emanuel Kohlscheen, 2017. "Consumption-led expansions," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
    6. Maarten van Rooij & Jakob de Haan, 2016. "Will helicopter money be spent? New evidence," DNB Working Papers 538, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    DSGE; macroeconomic policy models; finance and the real economy; financial crisis; consumption; credit constraints; household portfolios; asset prices;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E17 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises

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