The Volatility of Consumption in a Simple General Equilibrium Model


Gunnar Tersman

Publication Date:

December 1, 1992

Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate


This paper studies the volatility of consumption relative to output in the context of a simple general equilibrium model of a small open economy subject to exogenous shocks in productivity. With infinite horizons and exogenous relative prices, the model generates variance estimates that are well above what can be observed in empirical data. While finite horizons and endogenous terms of trade reduce the volatility of consumption, the model fails to generate sufficient serial correlation with respect to the consumption growth rate. If the household’s decision problem is modified to take into account durability and adjustment costs, the model does well on both dimensions.


Working Paper No. 1992/109



Publication Date:

December 1, 1992



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