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Cross-Country Heterogeneity in Intertemporal Substitution

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  • Tomas Havranek

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  • Roman Horvath
  • Zuzana Irsova
  • Marek Rusnak

Abstract

We collect 2,735 estimates of the elasticity of intertemporal substitution in consumption from 169 published studies that cover 104 countries during different time periods. The estimates vary substantially from country to country, even after controlling for 30 aspects of study design. Our results suggest that income and asset market participation are the most effective factors in explaining the heterogeneity: households in developing countries and countries with low stock market participation substitute a smaller fraction of consumption intertemporally in response to changes in expected asset returns. Micro-level studies that focus on sub-samples of poor households or households not participating in asset markets also find systematically smaller values of the elasticity.

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  • Tomas Havranek & Roman Horvath & Zuzana Irsova & Marek Rusnak, 2013. "Cross-Country Heterogeneity in Intertemporal Substitution," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp1056, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2013-1056
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    Keywords

    Elasticity of intertemporal substitution; consumption; meta-analysis; Bayesian model averaging;

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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