A time series analysis of real wages, consumption, and asset returns

Thomas F. Cooley, Masao Ogaki

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Abstract

This paper re-examines whether the time series properties of aggregate consumption, real wages, and asset returns can be explained by a neoclassical model. Previous empirical rejections of the model have suggested that the optimal labour contract model might be appropriate for understanding the time series properties of the real wage rate and consumption. We show that an optimal contract model restricts the long-run relation of the real wage rate and consumption. We exploit this long-run restriction (cointegration restriction) for estimating and testing the model, using Ogaki and Parks (1989) cointegration approach. This long-run restriction involves a parameter that we call the long-run intertemporal elasticity of substitution (IES) for non-durable consumption but does not involve the IES for leisure. This allows us to estimate the long-run IES for non-durable consumption from a cointegrating regression. Tests for the null of cointegration do not reject our model. As a further analysis, our estimates of the long-run IES for non-durable consumption are used to estimate the discount factor and a coefficient of time-nonseparability using Hansens (1982) Generalized Method of Moments. We form a specification test for our model à la Hausman (1978) from these two steps. This specification test does not reject our model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-134
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Econometrics
Volume11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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