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Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 15 No. 3 (Summer 2001)

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The Hyberbolic Consumption Model: Calibration, Simulation, and Empirical Evaluation

Article Citation

Angeletos, George-Marios, David Laibson, Andrea Repetto, Jeremy Tobacman, and Stephen Weinberg. 2001. "The Hyberbolic Consumption Model: Calibration, Simulation, and Empirical Evaluation." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 15(3): 47-68.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.15.3.47

Abstract

Laboratory and field studies of time preference find that discount rates are much greater in the short run than in the long run. Hyperbolic discount functions capture this property. This paper presents simulations of the savings and asset allocation choices of households with hyperbolic preferences. The behavior of the hyperbolic households is compared to the behavior of exponential households. The hyperbolic households borrow much more frequently in the revolving credit market. The hyperbolic households exhibit greater consumption income comovement and experience a greater drop in consumption around retirement. The hyperbolic simulations match observed consumption and balance sheet data much better than the exponential simulations.

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Authors

Angeletos, George-Marios (MIT)
Laibson, David (Harvard U)
Repetto, Andrea (U of Chile)
Tobacman, Jeremy (Harvard U)
Weinberg, Stephen (Harvard U)

JEL Classifications

D91: Intertemporal Consumer Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
E21: Macroeconomics: Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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