Deconstructing life cycle expenditure

Mark Aguiar, Erik Hurst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


We revisit two well-known facts regarding life cycle expenditures: the "hump"-shaped profile of nondurable expenditures and the increase in cross-household consumption inequality. We document that the behavioroftotal nondurables masks surprising heterogeneityinthe life cycle profile of individual consumption subcomponents. We provide evidence that the categories driving life cycle consumption either are inputs into market work or are amenable to home production. Using a quantitative model, we document that the disaggregated life cycle consumption profiles imply a level of uninsurable permanent income risk that issubstantially lower than that impliedby amodel usingacomposite consumption good.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)437-492
Number of pages56
JournalJournal of Political Economy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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