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Individual income, incomplete information, and aggregate consumption

  • Pischke, Jörn-Steffen

In this paper I study a model of life-cycle consumption in which individuals react optimally to their own income process but ignore economy wide information. Since individual income is less persistent than aggregate income consumers will react too little to aggregate income variation. Aggregate consumption will be excessively smooth. Since aggregate information is slowly incorporated into consumption, aggregate consumption will be autocorrelated and correlated with lagged income. The second part of the paper provides empirical evidence on individual and aggregate income processes and calibrates the model using the estimated parameters. The mode predictions roughly correspond to the empirical findings for aggregate consumption data. Allowing for the existence of measurement error in micro income, durables, finite lifetimes of consumers, and advance information improves the predictions of the model.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 91-07.

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Date of creation: 1991
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:9107
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  1. 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.
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  6. Hall, Robert E & Mishkin, Frederic S, 1982. "The Sensitivity of Consumption to Transitory Income: Estimates from Panel Data on Households," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(2), pages 461-81, March.
  7. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 326-34, June.
  8. Alan S. Blinder & Angus Deaton, 1985. "The Time Series Consumption Function Revisited," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 16(2), pages 465-521.
  9. Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent, 1981. "A note on Wiener-Kolmogorov prediction formulas for rational expectations models," Staff Report 69, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Runkle, David E., 1991. "Liquidity constraints and the permanent-income hypothesis : Evidence from panel data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 73-98, February.
  11. Alan S. Blinder, 1978. "Temporary Income Taxes and Consumer Spending," NBER Working Papers 0283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Gali, Jordi, 1990. "Finite horizons, life-cycle savings, and time-series evidence on consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 433-452, December.
  14. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1992. "Earnings Uncertainty and Precautionary Saving," CEPR Discussion Papers 699, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  18. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Joseph G. Altonji & Aloysius Siow, 1986. "Testing the Response of Consumption to Income Changes with (Noisy) PanelData," NBER Working Papers 2012, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. John Bound & Charles Brown & Greg J. Duncan & Willard L Rodgers, 1989. "Measurement Error In Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Labor Market Surveys: Results From Two Validation Studies," NBER Working Papers 2884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Campbell, John & Deaton, Angus, 1989. "Why Is Consumption So Smooth?," Scholarly Articles 3221494, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  22. John Y. Campbell, 1986. "Does Saving Anticipate Declining Labor Income? An Alternative Test of the Permanent Income Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 1805, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  24. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1987. "Permanent Income, Current Income, and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 2436, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Grossman, Sanford J. & Shiller, Robert J., 1982. "Consumption correlatedness and risk measurement in economies with non-traded assets and heterogeneous information," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 195-210, July.
  26. MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
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