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Does habit formation always increase the agents' desire to smooth consumption?

  • Emmanuelle Augeraud-Veron
  • Mauro Bambi

In the literature, habit formation has been often introduced to enhance the agents' desire to smooth consumption over time. This characteristic was found particularly useful in solving the equity premium puzzle and in matching several stylized facts in growth, and business cycles theory as, for example, the high persistence in the U.S. output volatility. In this paper we propose a definition of habit formation, which is ``general'' relative to the assumptions on the intensity, persistence, and lag structure, and we unveil two mechanisms which point to the opposite direction: habits may reduce the desire of smoothing consumption over time and then may potentially decrease the power of a model in explaining the previously mentioned facts. More precisely, we propose a complete taxonomy of the rich dynamics which may emerge in an AK model with external addictive habits for all the feasible combinations of the intensity, persistence and lag structure characterizing their formation and we point out to the region in the parameters' space coherent with less smoothing in consumption. An economic explanation of these mechanisms is suggested and the robustness of our results in the case of internal habits verified. Finally and crucially habit formation always reduces the desire of consumption smoothing once the model is calibrated to match the average U.S. output and utility growth rates observed in the data.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of York in its series Discussion Papers with number 12/12.

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Date of creation: Apr 2012
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Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:12/12
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  1. Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caball?Author-Email: jordi.caballe@uab.es & Xavier Raurich, . "Growth, Habit Formation, and Catching-up\ with the Joneses," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 497.01, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  2. Raouf BOUCEKKINE & Omar LICANDRO & Luis A. PUCH & Fernando DEL RIO, 2002. "Vintage Capital And the Dynamics of the AK Model," Economics Working Papers ECO2002/07, European University Institute.
  3. Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caballé & Xavier Raurich, 2005. "Estate Taxes, Consumption Externalities, and Altruism," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 658.05, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  4. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Goncalo Monteiro & Stephen Turnovsky, 2004. "Habit Formation, Catching Up with the Joneses, and Economic Growth," Working Papers UWEC-2004-09-P, University of Washington, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2004.
  5. Ravn, Morten O & Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2004. "Deep Habits," CEPR Discussion Papers 4269, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Bambi, Mauro & Fabbri, Giorgio & Gozzi, Fausto, 2009. "Optimal policy and consumption smoothing effects in the time-to-build AK model," MPRA Paper 17128, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1995. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," NBER Working Papers 4995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Cooper, Ben & Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia & Funk, Peter, 2001. "Status Effects and Negative Utility Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 642-65, July.
  9. Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caballé & Xavier Raurich, 2007. "Aspirations, Habit Formation, and Bequest Motive," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(520), pages 813-836, 04.
  10. Hippolyte D'Albis & Emmanuelle Augeraud-Véron & Hermen Jan Hupkes, 2012. "Discontinuous Initial Value Problems for Funtional Differential-Algebraic Equations of Mixed Type," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00717412, HAL.
  11. Kareen Rozen, 2010. "Foundations of Intrinsic Habit Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1341-1373, 07.
  12. Fabbri, Giorgio & Gozzi, Fausto, 2008. "Solving optimal growth models with vintage capital: The dynamic programming approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 143(1), pages 331-373, November.
  13. repec:bla:restud:v:77:y:2010:i:4:p:1382-1402 is not listed on IDEAS
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