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Price search, consumption inequality, and expenditure inequality over the life cycle

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  • Arslan, Yavuz
  • Taskin, Temel

Abstract

In this paper, we incorporate a price search decision into a life cycle model and differentiate consumption from expenditure. Consumers with low wealth and bad income shocks search more for cheaper prices and pay less, which makes their consumption higher than in a model without search option. A plausibly calibrated version of our model predicts that the cross-sectional variance of consumption is about 17% smaller than the cross-sectional variance of expenditure throughout the life cycle. Price search has an alternative productive activity role for lower-income people to increase their consumption levels. We discuss other implications of price search over the life cycle as well.

Suggested Citation

  • Arslan, Yavuz & Taskin, Temel, 2011. "Price search, consumption inequality, and expenditure inequality over the life cycle," MPRA Paper 34874, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:34874
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    13. Dirk Krueger & Fabrizio Perri, 2006. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality? Evidence and Theory -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 163-193.
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    16. Fatih Karahan & Serdar Ozkan, 2009. "On the Persistence of Income Shocks over the Life Cycle: Evidence and Implications, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 10-012, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 05 Apr 2010.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumption inequality; price search; incomplete markets; life cycle models; partial insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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