Consumption: Beyond Certainty Equivalence
12 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2007
Date Written: 1988
This paper discusses the recent research on the consumption function that has attempted to relax the assumption of certainty equivalence. While there remain many open questions, both theoretical and empirical, it is clear that the assumption of certainty equivalence can be misleading. Under more plausible specifications of preferences toward risk, uncertainty lowers the level of consumption, increases the expected rate of growth of consumption, and increases the response of consumption to news about income. Moreover, changes in the amount of uncertainty are a potentially important source of fluctuations in consumption.
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