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Habits, Sentiment and Predictable Income in the Dynamics of Aggregate Consumption

  • Martin Sommer

    (International Monetary Fund)

This paper explores whether habit formation in the representative agent’s preferences can explain two failures of the standard permanent income model: the sensitivity to lagged consumer sentiment, and to predictable changes in income. I show that in a habit formation model, the sensitivity of consumption to predicted income can be largely reinterpreted as a sluggish response to news. Moreover, the sensitivity of consumption to sentiment reflects the serial correlation in consumption growth generated by habits. The estimated model predicts an immediate (first-quarter) MPC out of a permanent tax cut of only about 30%.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/mac/papers/0408/0408004.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Macroeconomics with number 0408004.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 09 Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0408004
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 28
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Christopher D Carroll, 2000. "'Risky Habits' and the Marginal Propensity to Consume Out of Permanent Income or How Much Would a Permanent Tax Cut Boost Japanese Consumption?," Economics Working Paper Archive 429, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  2. Andrew B. Abel, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching up with the Joneses," NBER Working Papers 3279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. G. Constantinides, 1990. "Habit formation: a resolution of the equity premium puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1397, David K. Levine.
  4. Sydney C. Ludvigson & Alexander Michaelides, 2001. "Does Buffer-Stock Saving Explain the Smoothness and Excess Sensitivity of Consumption?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 631-647, June.
  5. Matthew D. Shapiro & Joel Slemrod, 2003. "Consumer Response to Tax Rebates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 381-396, March.
  6. Martin Sommer & Christopher Carroll, 2004. "Epidemiological expectations and consumption dynamics," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2003 92, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  7. Pishke, J.S., 1992. "Individual Income, Incomplete Information and Aggregate Consumption," Papers 9238, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  8. Urban J. Jermann & Marianne Baxter, 1999. "Household Production and the Excess Sensitivity of Consumption to Current Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 902-920, September.
  9. Christopher D. Carroll, 1996. "Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 5788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jody Overland & Christopher D. Carroll & David N. Weil, 2000. "Saving and Growth with Habit Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 341-355, June.
  11. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-87, December.
  12. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & David Marshall, 1990. "The permanent income hypothesis revisited," Staff Report 129, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Muellbauer, John, 1986. "Habits, Rationality and Myopia in the Life-Cycle Consumption Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 112, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Jermann, Urban J., 1998. "Asset pricing in production economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 257-275, April.
  16. Carroll, Christopher D & Fuhrer, Jeffrey C & Wilcox, David W, 1994. "Does Consumer Sentiment Forecast Household Spending? If So, Why?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1397-1408, December.
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