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Liquidity constraint, uncertainty and household consumption in China

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This paper investigates the changing roles played by liquidity constraint and uncertainty in accounting for the dynamism of Chinese household consumption behaviour. Starting from the Euler equation-based model of Robert Hall, a framework encompassing an array of consumption models is developed and applied to Chinese data over the period 1961−1998. Empirical results reveal a regime shift in the early 1980s and imply that increases in the proportion of liquidity constrained consumers and increased uncertainty in the post-reform period are responsible for the extremely low consumption or high savings in China. Moreover, it is found that interactions between liquidity constraint and uncertainty reinforce each other's effects and lead to declines in both the level and growth of consumption.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2004

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