Do Consumers Really Follow a Rule of Thumb? Three Thousand Estimates from 130 Studies Say "Probably Not"
In the early twentieth century, a large number of households resettled from the European to the Asian part of the Russian Empire. We propose that this dramatic migration was rooted in institutional changes initiated by the 1906 Stolypin land titling reform. One might expect better property rights to decrease the propensity to migrate by improving economic conditions in the reform area. However, this titling reform increased land liquidity and actually promoted migration by easing financial constraints and decreasing opportunity costs. Treating the reform as a quasi-natural experiment, we employ difference-in-differences analysis on a panel of province-level data that describe migration and economic conditions. We find that the reform had a sizeable effect on migration. To verify the land liquidity effect, we exploit variation in the number of households participating in the reform. This direct measure of the reform mechanism estimates that land liquidity explains approximately 18% of migration during this period.
In this paper, we investigate the consumption Euler equation for the Russian households under Epstein and Zin (1989) preferences. Firstly, we investigate the impact of liquidity constraints and non-tradable assets on the Euler equation, and then use these theoretical results for the estimation and testing. We get the estimate of the elasticity of intertemporal substitution, which is significantly higher than zero and lower than one. We also show that borrowing constraints have a significant impact on the consumption dynamics, while the hypothesis about lending constraints is not supported by the data.
We examine 597 estimates of habit formation reported in 81 published studies. The mean reported strength of habit formation equals 0.4, but the estimates vary widely both within and across studies. We use Bayesian and frequentist model averaging to assign a pattern to this variance while taking into account model uncertainty. Studies employing macro data report consistently larger estimates than micro studies: 0.6 vs. 0.1 on average. The difference remains 0.5 when we control for 30 factors that reflect the context in which researchers obtain their estimates, such as data frequency, geographical coverage, variable definition, estimation approach, and publication characteristics. We also find that evidence for habits strengthens when researchers use lower data frequencies, employ log-linear approximation of the Euler equation, and utilize open-economy DSGE models. Moreover, estimates of habits differ systematically across countries.
Intertemporal equilibrium model with the finite number of agents-consumers is considered. Consumers exchange the only commodity with each other. They choose optimal consumption plan subject to budget constraint and liquidity constraint. Existence of efficient equilibrium is proven. The established fact of the uniqueness of equilibrium prices gives hope that equilibrium constraint could remove equilibrium indeterminacy problem of the stochastic Arrow-Debreu and derivative models.
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
The paper examines the principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates proposed by BCBS in the consultative document published in December 2011. Moreover, the article proposes a number of suggestions worked out by the authors within the HSE research team.