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Consumption, wealth and business cycles: why is Germany different?

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  • Hamburg, Britta
  • Hoffmann, Mathias
  • Keller, Joachim

Abstract

This paper studies the long-run relationship between consumption, asset wealth and income – the consumption-wealth ratio – in Germany, based on data from 1980 to 2003. Earlier papers for the Anglo-Saxon economies have documented that departures of these three variables from their common trend signal future changes in asset prices. We find that for Germany they predict changes in income – the consumption wealth ratio predicts business cycles, not stock market cycles. Asset price changes are found to have virtually no effect on German consumption, both in the short as well as in the long-run. Conversely, German asset prices are predictable from the U.S. consumption-wealth ratio. We offer an explanation of these findings that emphasizes structural differences between the bank-based German financial system and the rather market-based Anglo-American system: stock ownership by private households is much less widespread in Germany than in the Anglo-Saxon economies and the share of publicly traded equity in household wealth is much smaller in Germany than in the U.S., the UK or Australia.

Suggested Citation

  • Hamburg, Britta & Hoffmann, Mathias & Keller, Joachim, 2005. "Consumption, wealth and business cycles: why is Germany different?," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,16, Deutsche Bundesbank.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:3375
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Slacalek Jiri, 2009. "What Drives Personal Consumption? The Role of Housing and Financial Wealth," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-37, October.
    2. Frondel, Manuel & Schmidt, Torsten & Vance, Colin & Zimmermann, Tobias & Belke, Ansgar, 2008. "Einfluss von Preisschocks auf die Preisentwicklung in Deutschland: Forschungsvorhaben des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Technologie. Projekt-Nr. I D 4-020815-16/07. Endbericht - Oktober 2008," RWI Projektberichte, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, number 70890.
    3. Eickmeier, Sandra, 2009. "Analyse der Übertragung US-amerikanischer Schocks auf Deutschland auf Basis eines FAVAR," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2009,35, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    4. Britta Hamburg & Mathias Hoffmann & Joachim Keller, 2008. "Consumption, wealth and business cycles in Germany," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 451-476, June.
    5. Magdalena Zachłód-Jelec, 2010. "Interrelations between Consumption and Wealth in Poland," Central European Journal of Economic Modelling and Econometrics, CEJEME, vol. 2(1), pages 37-58, January.
    6. Nitschka, Thomas, 2010. "Cashflow news, the value premium and an asset pricing view on European stock market integration," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1406-1423, November.
    7. Thomas Nitschka, 2010. "International Evidence for Return Predictability and the Implications for Long-Run Covariation of the G7 Stock Markets," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11, pages 527-544, November.
    8. Eickmeier Sandra, 2010. "Analyse der Übertragung US-amerikanischer Schocks auf Deutschland auf Basis eines FAVAR / A FAVAR-based Analysis of the Transmission of US Shocks to Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 230(5), pages 571-600, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wealth Effect on Consumption; Business Cycles; Monetary Policy Transmission; Financial Systems; Asset Price Predictability;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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