Liquidity Constraints of the Middle Class
This paper combines impatience with large recurring expenditures to replicate the observation that middle-class U.S. households consume much more out of transitory income than permanent income theory predicts. In the present model, households make a large recurring expenditure of exogenous timing and endogenous size; hence, in spite of their impatience, households save in anticipation of this expenditure. When it occurs, a borrowing constraint taking the form of equity requirements on collateralizable durable goods limits household's debt. Although the standard Euler equation usually holds good, the household is always liquidity constrained, in the sense that they value assets that provide liquidity more than their fundamental value. These constraints are strongest when wealth is highest. We contrast a calibrated version of the model with evidence from the 2001 tax rebate.
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- Matthew D. Shapiro & Joel Slemrod, 2001.
"Consumer Response to Tax Rebates,"
NBER Working Papers
8672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Costas Meghir & Luigi Pistaferri, 2004.
"Income Variance Dynamics and Heterogeneity,"
Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 1-32, 01.
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