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The Consumption Response to Income Changes

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Abstract

We review different empirical approaches that researchers have taken to estimate how consumption responds to income changes. We critically evaluate the empirical evidence on the sensitivity of consumption to predicted income changes, distinguishing between the traditional excess sensitivity tests, and the effect of predicted income increases and income declines. We also review studies that attempt to estimate the marginal propensity to consume out of income shocks, distinguishing between three different approaches: identifying episodes in which income changes unexpectedly, relying on the covariance restrictions that the theory imposes on the joint behavior of consumption and income growth, and combining realizations and expectations of income or consumption in surveys where data on subjective expectations are available.

Suggested Citation

  • Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2009. "The Consumption Response to Income Changes," CSEF Working Papers 237, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:237
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumption smoothing; marginal propensity to consume;

    JEL classification:

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

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