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Title:Wealth shocks, unemployment shocks and consumption in the wake of the Great Recession PDF Logo
Authors:Christelis, Dimitris
Georgarakos, Dimitris
Jappelli, Tullio
Issue Date:2011
Series/Report no.:CFS Working Paper 2011/27
Abstract:We use data from the 2009 Internet Survey of the Health and Retirement Study to examine the consumption impact of wealth shocks and unemployment during the Great Recession in the US. We find that many households experienced large capital losses in housing and in their financial portfolios, and that a non-trivial fraction of respondents have lost their job. As a consequence of these shocks, many households reduced substantially their expenditures. We estimate that the marginal propensities to consume with respect to housing and financial wealth are 1 and 3.3 percentage points, respectively. In addition, those who became unemployed reduced spending by 10 percent. We also distinguish the effect of perceived transitory and permanent wealth shocks, splitting the sample between households who think that the stock market is likely to recover in a year's time, and those who don't. In line with the predictions of standard models of intertemporal choice, we find that the latter group adjusted much more than the former its spending in response to financial wealth shocks.
Subjects:Marginal Propensity to Consume
Wealth Shocks
Unemployment
JEL:E21
D91
Persistent Identifier of the first edition:urn:nbn:de:hebis:30:3-241104
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:CFS Working Paper Series, Universität Frankfurt a. M.

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