NBER Working Papers by Peter Levell

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Working Papers

August 2016Life-Cycle Consumption Patterns at Older Ages in the US and the UK: Can Medical Expenditures Explain the Difference?
with James Banks, Richard Blundell, James P. Smith: w22513
In this paper we document significantly steeper declines in nondurable expenditures in the UK compared to the US, in spite of income paths being similar. We explore several possible causes, including different employment paths, housing ownership and expenses, levels and paths of health status, number of household members, and out-of -pocket medical expenditures. Among all the potential explanations considered, we find that those to do with healthcare—differences in levels and age paths in medical expenses—can fully account for the steeper declines in nondurable consumption in the UK compared to the US.
July 2015Aggregating Elasticities: Intensive and Extensive Margins of Female Labour Supply
with Orazio Attanasio, Hamish Low, Virginia Sánchez-Marcos: w21315
There is a renewed interest in the size of labour supply elasticities and the discrepancy between micro and macro estimates. Recent contributions have stressed the distinction between changes in labour supply at the extensive and the intensive margin. In this paper, we stress the importance of individual heterogeneity and aggregation problems. At the intensive margins, simple specifications that seem to fit the data give rise to non linear expressions that do not aggregate in a simple fashion. At the extensive margin, aggregate changes in participation are likely to depend on the cross sectional distribution of state variables when a shock hits and, therefore, are likely to be history dependent. We tackle these aggregation issues directly by specifying a life cycle model to explain fema...
October 2013A Comparison of Micro and Macro Expenditure Measures Across Countries Using Differing Survey Methods
with Garry Barrett, Kevin Milligan: w19544
This paper presents a comparative assessment of the performance of the household expenditure survey programs in Australia, Canada, the UK and US. Cross-country and time series variation in survey methodology and experience is used to assess the role of factors influencing the performance of the household surveys. First, coverage of aggregate expenditure relative to national account is examined. Coverage rates are highest in Canada and the UK. Over the past three decades coverage remained fairly stable in Canada and Australia; in the UK and US coverage rates declined sharply. Survey response rates and top income shares are then considered in tandem with coverage rates. Falls in response rates are found to be predictive of changes in coverage rates. Further, the change in coverage rates o...

Published: A Comparison of Micro and Macro Expenditure Measures across Countries Using Differing Survey Methods, Garry Barrett, Peter Levell, Kevin Milligan. in Improving the Measurement of Consumer Expenditures, Carroll, Crossley, and Sabelhaus. 2015

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