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Habit Formation and the Present-Value Model of the Current Account: Yet Another Suspect

  • Takashi Kano

    (University of Tokyo)

A recent paper claims that habit formation in consumption plays an important role in current account fluctuations in selected developed countries, extending the present-value model of the current account (PVM) with consumption habits. In this paper, however, I show that the habit-forming PVM is observationally equivalent to the PVM augmented with persistent transitory consumption, which is induced by world real interest rate shocks. Based on a small open-economy real business cycle (SOE-RBC) model endowed with consumption habits as well as persistent world real interest rate shocks, this paper resolves the inherent identification problem of the habit-forming PVM by Bayesian methods to seek effects of habit formation on current account fluctuations in typical small open economies, Canada and the United Kingdom. Results reveal no clear evidence that habit formation plays a crucial role in current account fluctuations.

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Paper provided by CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo in its series CIRJE F-Series with number CIRJE-F-572.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tky:fseres:2008cf572
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  1. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 185-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2002. "Closing Small Open Economy Models," NBER Working Papers 9270, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Sheffrin, Steven M. & Woo, Wing Thye, 1990. "Present value tests of an intertemporal model of the current account," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3-4), pages 237-253, November.
  4. Reuven Glick & Kenneth Rogoff, 1992. "Global versus country-specific productivity shocks and the current account," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 92-06, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. Otto, Glenn, 1992. "Testing a present-value model of the current account: Evidence from US and Canadian time series," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(5), pages 414-430, October.
  6. Otrok, Christopher & Ravikumar, B. & Whiteman, Charles H., 2002. "Habit formation: a resolution of the equity premium puzzle?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1261-1288, September.
  7. Sims, Christopher A, 2002. "Solving Linear Rational Expectations Models," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 20(1-2), pages 1-20, October.
  8. Cochrane, John H. & Campbell, John, 1999. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Scholarly Articles 3119444, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  10. Blankenau, William & Ayhan Kose, M. & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2001. "Can world real interest rates explain business cycles in a small open economy?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(6-7), pages 867-889, June.
  11. Abel, Andrew B, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 38-42, May.
  12. Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1986. "A Simple, Positive Semi-Definite, Heteroskedasticity and AutocorrelationConsistent Covariance Matrix," NBER Technical Working Papers 0055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Yongsung Chang & Joao Gomes & Frank Schorfheide, 2002. "Learning by Doing as a Propagation Mechanism," Macroeconomics 0204002, EconWPA.
  14. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : II. New directions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 309-341.
  15. Steven M. Sheffrin & Paul Bergin, 2003. "Interest Rates, Exchange Rates And Present Value Models Of The Current Account," Working Papers 9722, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  16. Gruber, Joseph W., 2004. "A present value test of habits and the current account," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 1495-1507, October.
  17. Nason, James M & Rogers, John H, 2002. "Investment and the Current Account in the Short Run and the Long Run," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(4), pages 967-86, November.
  18. James M. Nason and John H. Rogers, 2001. "The Present Value Model of the Current Account Has Been Rejected: Round Up the Usual Subjects," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 102, Society for Computational Economics.
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  21. Frank Schorfheide, 2000. "Loss function-based evaluation of DSGE models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(6), pages 645-670.
  22. Kano, Takashi, 2008. "A structural VAR approach to the intertemporal model of the current account," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 757-779, September.
  23. Takashi Kano & Hafedh Bouakez, 2005. "Learning-by-Doing or Habit Formation?," 2005 Meeting Papers 513, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  24. Ghosh, Atish R, 1995. "International Capital Mobility amongst the Major Industrialised Countries: Too Little or Too Much?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 107-28, January.
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  28. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
  29. Bussière, Matthieu & Fratzscher, Marcel & Müller, Gernot J., 2004. "Current accounts dynamics in OECD and EU acceding countries - an intertemporal approach," Working Paper Series 0311, European Central Bank.
  30. Karen E. Dynan, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumer Preferences: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 391-406, June.
  31. Constantinides, George M, 1990. "Habit Formation: A Resolution of the Equity Premium Puzzle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 519-43, June.
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