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Measuring intertemporal substitution: The role of durable goods

  • Reinhart, Carmen
  • Ogaki, Masao

As pointed out by Hall (1988), intertemporal substitution by consumers is a central element of many modern macroeconomic and international models. For example, many of the policy implications of an endogenous growth model studied by Barro (1990) depends on the assumption that the intertemporal elasticity of substitution is positive. In estimating the intertemporal elasticity of substitution (IES), however, Hall (1988) fmds that when time aggregation is taken into account, his point estimates are small and not significantly different from zero. Hall concludes that ti:e elasticity is unlikely to be much above 0.1 and may well be zero. We argue that Hall's estimator for the IES is downward biased because the intra-temporal substitution between nondurable consumption goods and durable consumption goods is ignored and because the changes in real interest rates affect user costs of durable goods. We use a two-step procedure that combines a cointegration approach to preference parameter estimation with Hansen and Singleton's (1982) Generalized Method of Moments approach in order to take these effects into account. In contrast to Hall's result, our estimates for the IES are positive and significantly different from zero even when time aggregation is taken into account.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 13690.

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Date of creation: May 1995
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:13690
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  2. Park, J.Y. & Ogaki, M., 1991. "Inference in Cointegrated Models Using VAR Prewhitening to Estimate Shortrun Dynamics," RCER Working Papers 281, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  3. Atkeson, Andrew & Ogaki, Masao, 1996. "Wealth-varying intertemporal elasticities of substitution: Evidence from panel and aggregate data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 507-534, December.
  4. Yvon Fauvel & Lucie Samson, 1991. "Intertemporal Substitution and Durable Goods: An Empirical Analysis," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 24(1), pages 192-205, February.
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  8. Dunn, Kenneth B. & Singleton, Kenneth J., 1986. "Modeling the term structure of interest rates under non-separable utility and durability of goods," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 27-55, September.
  9. West, Kenneth D, 1988. "Asymptotic Normality, When Regressors Have a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1397-1417, November.
  10. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1988. "Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 877R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jul 1989.
  11. Rebelo, Sérgio, 1992. "Growth in Open Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 667, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Donald W.K. Andrews & Christopher J. Monahan, 1990. "An Improved Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 942, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  13. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  14. Fauvel, Y. & Samson, L., 1989. "Intertemporal Substitution And Durable Goods: An Empircal Analysis," Cahiers de recherche 8916, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
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  29. Lam, Pok-sang, 1989. "Irreversibility and consumer durables expenditures," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 135-150, January.
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