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Permanent versus Transitory Income Shocks over the Business Cycle


  • Agnes Kovacs

    () (Department of Economics, The University of Manchester; IFS)

  • Concetta Rondinelli

    () (Bank of Italy, Economic Outlook and Monetary Policy Directorate)

  • Serena Trucchi

    () (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari)


This paper investigates the role of subjective income expectations in shaping consumption dynamics of European economies in the last decade. We make two main contributions. We first exploit the joint availability of income expectations and realizations in a unique micro panel-dataset to identify the levels of transitory and permanent income shocks at the individual level. We then evaluate whether these calculated income shocks can help to explain contractions in aggregate consumption over the two most recent crisis. We find strong evidence that consumption behavior during the 2012-2013 crisis can be explained by the observed income shocks, but the same is not true of the 2008-2009 crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Agnes Kovacs & Concetta Rondinelli & Serena Trucchi, 2018. "Permanent versus Transitory Income Shocks over the Business Cycle," Working Papers 2018:23, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  • Handle: RePEc:ven:wpaper:2018:23

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Renata Bottazzi & Serena Trucchi & Matthew Wakefield, 2013. "Wealth effects and the consumption of Italian households in the Great Recession," IFS Working Papers W13/21, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    2. Richard Blundell & Martin Browning & Costas Meghir, 1994. "Consumer Demand and the Life-Cycle Allocation of Household Expenditures," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(1), pages 57-80.
    3. Attanasio, Orazio & Kovacs, Agnes & Molnar, Krisztina, 2017. "Euler Equations, Subjective Expectations and Income Shocks," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 5/2017, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item


    Persistence of income shocks; income uncertainty; expectations; consumption; financial crisis;

    JEL classification:

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

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