Requiem For The Representative Consumer? Aggregate Implications Of Microeconomic Consumption Behavior
Macroeconomists pursuing microfoundations for aggregate consumption have generally adopted one of two approaches: either to model microeconomic consumption behavior carefully and then to aggregate, or to thoroughly understand the behavior of a `representative consumer' in general equilibrium, then to introduce microeconomic risk and heterogeneity. The broad conclusion from the `bottom up' approach has been that precautionary saving and microeconomic heterogeneity can profoundly change behavior (Stephen P. Zeldes (1989); Angus S. Deaton (1991); Christopher D. Carroll (1992)). The broad conclusion from the `top down' approach has been that precautionary saving is of little importance in determining the aggregate capital stock (S. Rao Aiyagari (1994); Per Krusell and Anthony A. Smith (1998)), leading some economists to conclude that heterogeneity is unimportant for macroeconomic purposes. This paper shows that while general equilibrium effects do imply that the aggregate magnitude of precautionary saving is modest, nevertheless when a model with uninsurable idiosyncratic risk is modified so that it can match the key micro facts, it produces behavior very different in important respects from that produced by the representative agent economy. This leads to the conclusion that for many purposes, the representative consumer model should be abandoned in favor of a model which matches key microeconomic facts.
To our knowledge, this item is not available for
download. To find whether it is available, there are three
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
|Date of creation:||05 Jul 2000|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: CEF 2000, Departament d'Economia i Empresa, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Ramon Trias Fargas, 25,27, 08005, Barcelona, Spain|
Fax: +34 93 542 17 46
Web page: http://enginy.upf.es/SCE/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Laibson, David I., 1997.
"Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting,"
4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Christopher D. Carroll & Miles S. Kimball, 1995.
"On the Concavity of the Consumption Function,"
- Krusell, P & Smith Jr, A-A, 1995.
"Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomic,"
RCER Working Papers
399, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith & Jr., 1998. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 867-896, October.
- Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., . "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," GSIA Working Papers 1997-37, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
- Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2000.
"Intertemporal Choice and Consumption Mobility,"
Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers
0118, Econometric Society.
- Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2004. "Intertemporal choice and consumption mobility," 2004 Meeting Papers 195, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 1999. "Intertemporal Choice and Consumption Mobility," CSEF Working Papers 23, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
- Jappelli, Tullio & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2005. "Intertemporal choice and consumption mobility," CFS Working Paper Series 2005/28, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
- Deaton, A., 1989.
"Saving And Liquidity Constraints,"
153, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
- repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
- John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989.
"Consumption, Income and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence,"
in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 185-246
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income, and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Christopher D. Carroll, 1992. "The Buffer-Stock Theory of Saving: Some Macroeconomic Evidence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 61-156.
- Cochrane, John H, 1991. "A Simple Test of Consumption Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 957-76, October.
- Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 1999.
"Consumption Over the Life Cycle,"
NBER Working Papers
7271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- McCarthy, Jonathan, 1995. "Imperfect insurance and differing propensities to consume across households," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 301-327, November.
- Jonathan A. Parker, 1999. "The Reaction of Household Consumption to Predictable Changes in Social Security Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 959-973, September.
- Orazio Attanasio & Steven J. Davis, 1994.
"Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption,"
NBER Working Papers
4771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Attanasio, Orazio & Davis, Steven J, 1996. "Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1227-62, December.
- Nicholas S. Souleles, 1999. "The Response of Household Consumption to Income Tax Refunds," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 947-958, September.
- Huggett, Mark, 1996. "Wealth distribution in life-cycle economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 469-494, December.
- Robert E. Hall, 1987. "Consumption," NBER Working Papers 2265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stephen P. Zeldes, 1989. "Optimal Consumption with Stochastic Income: Deviations from Certainty Equivalence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 275-298.
- Alan P. Kirman, 1992. "Whom or What Does the Representative Individual Represent?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 117-136, Spring.
- S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sce:scecf0:320. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.