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Reported MPC and Unobserved Heterogeneity




We use panel data on reported marginal propensity to consume (MPC) in the 2010 and 2016 Italy’s Survey of Household Income and Wealth. We uncover a strong negative relationship between cash-on-hand and MPC. This relation is attenuated by using regression methods that control for unobserved heterogeneity. The estimates are used to show that the effectiveness of revenue-neutral fiscal policies is much weaker relative to a case in which both observed and unobserved heterogeneity are not taken into account, particularly for policies that target the bottom part of the distribution of household resources.

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  • Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2018. "Reported MPC and Unobserved Heterogeneity," CSEF Working Papers 505, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:505

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jonathan A. Parker & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2017. "Reported Effects vs. Revealed-Preference Estimates: Evidence from the propensity to spend tax rebates," NBER Working Papers 23920, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Bunn, Philip & LeRoux, Jeanne & Reinold, Kate & Surico, Paolo, 2017. "The Consumption Response to Positive and Negative Income Changes," CEPR Discussion Papers 11829, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Deaton, Angus, 1991. "Saving and Liquidity Constraints," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1221-1248, September.
    4. Claudia R. Sahm & Matthew D. Shapiro & Joel Slemrod, 2015. "Balance-Sheet Households and Fiscal Stimulus: Lessons from the Payroll Tax Cut and Its Expiration," NBER Working Papers 21220, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Fuster, Andreas & Kaplan, Greg & Zafar, Basit, 2018. "What would you do with $500? Spending responses to gains, losses, news, and loans," Staff Reports 843, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    6. Shapiro, Matthew D & Slemrod, Joel, 1995. "Consumer Response to the Timing of Income: Evidence from a Change in Tax Withholding," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 274-283, March.
    7. repec:elg:eechap:15590_5 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Jappelli, Tullio & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2017. "The Economics of Consumption: Theory and Evidence," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199383153.
    9. Grant Graziani & Wilbert van der Klaauw & Basit Zafar, 2016. "Workers' Spending Response to the 2011 Payroll Tax Cuts," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 124-159, November.
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    More about this item


    Transitory Income Shocks; Marginal Propensity to Consume; Panel Data;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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