European Central Bank
D-60640 Frankfurt am Main
Institutional Affiliation: European Central Bank
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|August 2019||Dissecting Saving Dynamics: Measuring Wealth, Precautionary, and Credit Effects|
with Christopher D. Carroll, Martin Sommer: w26131
We show that an estimated tractable ‘buffer stock saving’ model can match the 30-year decline in the U.S. saving rate leading up to 2007, the sharp increase during the Great Recession, and much of the intervening business cycle variation. In the model, saving depends on the gap between ‘target’ and actual wealth, with the target determined by measured credit availability and measured unemployment expectations. Following financial deregulation starting in the late 1970s, expanding credit supply explains the trend decline in saving, while fluctuations in wealth and consumer-survey-measured unemployment expectations capture much of the business-cycle variation, including the sharp rise during the Great Recession.
|March 2018||Sticky Expectations and Consumption Dynamics|
with Christopher D. Carroll, Edmund Crawley, Kiichi Tokuoka, Matthew N. White: w24377
Macroeconomic models often invoke consumption “habits” to explain the substantial persistence of aggregate consumption growth. But a large literature has found no evidence of habits in microeconomic datasets that measure the behavior of individual households. We show that the apparent conflict can be explained by a model in which consumers have accurate knowledge of their personal circumstances but ‘sticky expectations’ about the macroeconomy. In our model, the persistence of aggregate consumption growth reflects consumers’ imperfect attention to aggregate shocks. Our proposed degree of (macro) inattention has negligible utility costs, because aggregate shocks constitute only a tiny proportion of the uncertainty that consumers face.
|March 2008||International Evidence on Sticky Consumption Growth|
with Christopher D. Carroll, Martin Sommer: w13876
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 autocorrelation, 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.
Published: Christopher D. Carroll & Jiri Slacalek & Martin Sommer, 2011. "International Evidence on Sticky Consumption Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1135-1145, 06. citation courtesy of
|December 2006||How Large Is the Housing Wealth Effect? A New Approach|
with Christopher D. Carroll, Misuzu Otsuka: w12746
This paper presents a simple new method for estimating the size of 'wealth effects' on aggregate consumption. The method exploits the well-documented sluggishness of consumption growth (often interpreted as 'habits' in the asset pricing literature) to distinguish between short-run and long-run wealth effects. In U.S. data, we estimate that the immediate (next-quarter) marginal propensity to consume from a $1 change in housing wealth is about 2 cents, with a final long-run effect around 9 cents. Consistent with several recent studies, we find a housing wealth effect that is substantially larger than the stock wealth effect. We believe that our approach is preferable to the currently popular cointegration- based estimation methods, because neither theory nor evidence justifies faith in the e...