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The Age-Time-Cohort Problem and the Identification of Structural Parameters in Life-Cycle Models

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  • Sam Schulhofer-Wohl

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis)

Abstract

The standard approach to estimating structural parameters in life-cycle models imposes sufficient assumptions on the data to identify the "age profile" of outcomes, then chooses model parameters so that the model's age profile matches this empirical age profile. I show that the standard approach is both incorrect and unnecessary: incorrect, because it generically produces inconsistent estimators of the structural parameters, and unnecessary, because consistent estimators can be obtained under weaker fewer assumptions. I derive an identification method that avoids the problems of the standard approach and illustrate its benefits in a simple model of consumption inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, 2012. "The Age-Time-Cohort Problem and the Identification of Structural Parameters in Life-Cycle Models," 2012 Meeting Papers 575, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:575
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    File URL: https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2012/paper_575.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John B. Jones, 2010. "Why Do the Elderly Save? The Role of Medical Expenses," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(1), pages 39-75, February.
    2. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769.
    3. Sam Schulhofer-Wohl & Yang Yang, 2011. "Modeling the evolution of age and cohort effects in social research," Staff Report 461, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luiz Mello & Simone Schotte & Erwin R. Tiongson & Hernan Winkler, 2017. "Greying the Budget: Ageing and Preferences over Public Policies," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(1), pages 70-96, February.
    2. Enrico Moretti & Daniel J. Wilson, 2017. "The Effect of State Taxes on the Geographical Location of Top Earners: Evidence from Star Scientists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(7), pages 1858-1903, July.
    3. G. C. Lim & Q. Zeng, 2016. "Consumption, Income, and Wealth: Evidence from Age, Cohort, and Period Elasticities," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(3), pages 489-508, September.
    4. Lorenz Kueng & Mu-Jeung Yang & Bryan Hong, 2014. "Sources of Firm Life-Cycle Dynamics: Differentiating Size vs. Age Effects," NBER Working Papers 20621, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. repec:eee:eneeco:v:65:y:2017:i:c:p:161-171 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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