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Martin Sommer

19 March 2008
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 886
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Abstract
We estimate the degree of 'stickiness' in aggregate consumption growth (sometimes interpreted as reflecting consumption habits) for thirteen advanced economies. We find that, after controlling for measurement error, consumption growth has a high degree of auto-correlation, with a stickiness parameter of about 0.7 on average across countries. The sticky-consumption-growth model outperforms the random walk model of Hall (1978), and typically fits the data better than the popular Campbell and Mankiw (1989) model. In several countries, the sticky-consumption-growth and Campbell-Mankiw models work about equally well.
JEL Code
C6 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Mathematical Methods, Programming Models, Mathematical and Simulation Modeling
D9 : Microeconomics→Intertemporal Choice
E2 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy
24 September 2012
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1474
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Abstract
We argue that the U.S. personal saving rate's long stability (from the 1960s through the early 1980s), subsequent steady decline (1980s-2007), and recent substantial increase (2008-2011) can all be interpreted using a parsimonious `buffer stock' model of optimal consumption in the presence of labor income uncertainty and credit constraints. Saving in the model is affected by the gap between `target' and actual wealth, with the target wealth determined by credit conditions and uncertainty. An estimated structural version of the model suggests that increased credit availability accounts for most of the saving rate's long-term decline, while fluctuations in net wealth and uncertainty capture the bulk of the business-cycle variation.
JEL Code
E21 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Consumption, Saving, Wealth
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles