NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Martin Browning

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September 1993Consumption over the Life Cycle and over the Business Cycle
with Orazio P. Attanasio: w4453
The main aim of this paper is to assess the validity of the life cycle model of consumption. In particular, we address an issue that has recently received much attention, especially in the macroeconomic literature: that of "excess sensitivity" of consumption growth to income growth. We do this using a time series of cross sections and a novel and flexible parameterization of preferences. The former allows us to' address aggregation issues directly, while with the latter we can allow both the discount factor and the elasticity of intertemporal substitution eis to be affected by various observable variables and lifetime wealth. The main findings can be summarized as follows: (i) the excess sensitivity of consumption growth to labor income disappears when we control for demographic variables....

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