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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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  1. Reinhart, Carmen & Ostry, Jonathan, 1992. "Saving and Terms of Trade Shocks: Evidence from Developing Countries," MPRA Paper 6976, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1982. "Generalized Instrumental Variables Estimation of Nonlinear Rational Expectations Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1269-86, September.
  3. 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.
  4. Andrews, Donald W K, 1991. "Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 817-58, May.
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  6. Kocherlakota, Narayana R., 1990. "On tests of representative consumer asset pricing models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 285-304, October.
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  8. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
  9. Rebelo, Sérgio, 1992. "Growth in Open Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 667, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  11. Ben S. Bernanke, 1982. "Adjustment Costs, Durables, and Aggregate Consumption," NBER Working Papers 1038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1983. "Consumer Durables and the Real Interest Rate," NBER Working Papers 1148, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Ogaki, Masao, 1992. "Engel's Law and Cointegration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 1027-46, October.
  14. Engle, Robert & Granger, Clive, 2015. "Co-integration and error correction: Representation, estimation, and testing," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 39(3), pages 106-135.
  15. Lam, Pok-sang, 1989. "Irreversibility and consumer durables expenditures," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 135-150, January.
  16. Eichenbaum, Martin & Hansen, Lars Peter, 1990. "Estimating Models with Intertemporal Substitution Using Aggregate Time Series Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(1), pages 53-69, January.
  17. Andrews, Donald W K & Monahan, J Christopher, 1992. "An Improved Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 953-66, July.
  18. Nelson, Charles R. & Plosser, Charles I., 1982. "Trends and random walks in macroeconmic time series : Some evidence and implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-162.
  19. 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.
  20. han, H.L. & Ogaki, M., 1991. "Consumption, Income, and Cointegration Further Analysis," RCER Working Papers 305, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  21. 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.
  22. 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).
  23. Park, Joon Y, 1992. "Canonical Cointegrating Regressions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 119-43, January.
  24. 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.
  25. Cooley, Thomas F & Ogaki, Masao, 1996. "A Time Series Analysis of Real Wages, Consumption, and Asset Returns," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(2), pages 119-34, March-Apr.
  26. Wykoff, Frank C, 1970. "Capital Depreciation in the Postwar Period: Automobiles," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 52(2), pages 168-72, May.
  27. Fauvel, Y. & Samson, L., 1989. "Intertemporal Substitution And Durable Goods: An Empircal Analysis," Cahiers de recherche 8916, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  28. West, Kenneth D, 1988. "Asymptotic Normality, When Regressors Have a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1397-1417, November.
  29. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-87, December.
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