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Consumption Dynamics under Information Processing Constraints

  • Yulei Luo

    (Princeton University)

This paper studies consumption dynamics and welfare losses under information processing constraints (it is also called 'rational inattention' (RI) in Sims (2003)) in the permanent income hypothesis (PIH) model. It is shown that incorporating RI into the otherwise standard PIH model can substantially affect the intertemporal allocation of consumption, which makes the models better explain the data in some important aspects. Specifically, the main contributions of this paper are: first, we propose a tractable analytical approach to solve the multivariate state PIH model with RI and show that consumption reacts to the shocks to wealth gradually and with delay; second, after aggregating, we show that incorporating RI into the model can help resolve the excess sensitivity puzzle and the excess smoothness puzzle; third, we also find that the utility costs due to RI are very trivial, which can rationalize a key assumption in Sims (2003) that consumers only devote low channel capacity in observing and processing information; fourth, we investigate which factors determine optimal channel capacity endogeneously; finally, we compare our RI model with the standard internal habit formation model and the Campbell-Mankiw's rule-of-thumb model.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/mac/papers/0505/0505011.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Macroeconomics with number 0505011.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 13 May 2005
Date of revision: 03 Jun 2005
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0505011
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 41
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Robert E. Hall, 1981. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," NBER Working Papers 0720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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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  5. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income, and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky information versus sticky prices: a proposal to replace the New-Keynesian Phillips curve," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
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  8. Carroll, Christopher D., 2009. "Precautionary saving and the marginal propensity to consume out of permanent income," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 780-790, September.
  9. Laurence Ball & N Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2003. "Monetary Policy for Inattentive Economies," Economics Working Paper Archive 491, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
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  14. Pischke, J.S., 1993. "Individual Income, Incomplete Information, and Aggregate Consumption," Working papers 93-16, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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  18. Jeffery D. Amato & Thomas Laubach, 2002. "Implications of habit formation for optimal monetary policy," BIS Working Papers 121, Bank for International Settlements.
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  20. Michele Boldrin & Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1997. "Habit persistence and asset returns in an exchange economy," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-97-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  21. Nicholas S. Souleles, 1999. "The Response of Household Consumption to Income Tax Refunds," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 947-958, September.
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  40. Jonathan A. Parker, 1999. "The Reaction of Household Consumption to Predictable Changes in Social Security Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 959-973, September.
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