Wealth Shocks, Unemployment Shocks and Consumption in the Wake of the Great Recession

60 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2014

See all articles by Dimitris Christelis

Dimitris Christelis

Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples Federico II; Center for Financial Studies (CFS); ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR); Netspar

Dimitris Georgarakos

European Central Bank (ECB) - Directorate General Research; University of Leicester; Center for Financial Studies (CFS)

Tullio Jappelli

University of Naples Federico II - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Center for Studies in Economics and Finance - CSEF

Multiple version iconThere are 6 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2014

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 do not. 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.

Keywords: Wealth Shocks, Unemployment; Consumption, Great Recession

JEL Classification: E21, D91

Suggested Citation

Christelis, Dimitris and Georgarakos, Dimitris and Jappelli, Tullio, Wealth Shocks, Unemployment Shocks and Consumption in the Wake of the Great Recession (October 2014). CFS Working Paper, No. 471. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2506073 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2506073

Dimitris Christelis

Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples Federico II ( email )

Via Cintia, Monte S. Angelo
Naples, NA 80126
Italy

Center for Financial Studies (CFS) ( email )

Grüneburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, 60323
Germany

ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) ( email )

Australian School of Business
Ground Floor, East Wing UNSW Kensington Campus
Sydney, New South Wales NSW 2052
Australia
+61 (2) 9931 9202 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cepar.edu.au

Netspar ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Dimitris Georgarakos

European Central Bank (ECB) - Directorate General Research ( email )

Sonnemannstrasse 20
Frankfurt am Main, 60314
Germany

University of Leicester ( email )

Department of Economics
Leicester LE1 7RH, Leicestershire LE1 7RH
United Kingdom

Center for Financial Studies (CFS) ( email )

Grüneburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, 60323
Germany

Tullio Jappelli (Contact Author)

University of Naples Federico II - Department of Economics ( email )

Via Cintia - Monte S. Angelo
Napoli, 80126
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.csef.it/people/jappelli.htm

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.cepr.org/researchers/details/rschcontact.asp?IDENT=106354

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

Center for Studies in Economics and Finance - CSEF

84084 Fisciano, Salerno
Italy
+39 089 963 165 (Phone)
+39 089 963 169 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.csef.it/people/jappelli.htm

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