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Author:Starr-McCluer, Martha 

Working Paper
Household Saving and Portfolio Change: Evidence from the 1983-89 SCF Panel

There are very few sources of high-quality data on the dynamics of wealth accumulation. This paper uses newly-available data from the 1983-89 panel of the Survey of Consumer Finances to examine household saving and portfolio change over the 1980s. The 1983 SCF collected detailed information on households' assets, liabilities, income and other characteristics for a sample of 4,103 families. In 1989, 1,479 of these families were re-interviewed using a similar questionnaire. After describing the sample and methodology of the panel survey, we analyze changes in household wealth over the 1983-89 ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 1996-18

Working Paper
Vehicle Ownership, Vehicle Acquisitions, and the Growth of Auto Leasing: Evidence from Consumer Surveys

This paper documents the basic features of data on motor vehicles from the Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Consumer Finances and the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Expenditure Survey. Despite some methodological differences between the two surveys, we find that they yield strikingly similar pictures of households' vehicle holdings. The survey data are also quite consistent with population estimates of vehicle stocks obtained from other sources. Finally, we document the growth of auto leasing by consumers, and find little evidence for the commonly-held view that liquidity constraints ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 1996-35

Working Paper
Saving and Financial Planning: Some Findings from a Focus Group

This paper summarizes the results of a focus group on saving and financial planning. The group consisted of eight individuals with relatively high income and wealth. The savings behavior of such people is of interest partly due to their large contribution to total personal saving. The participants expressed concerns about how their circumstances will change as they age, and about uncertainties in income and health. While these concerns are consistent with theories emphasizing life-cycle and precautionary motives, the idea that saving involves self-control was also mentioned repeatedly.
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 1996-01

Working Paper
Stock market wealth and consumer spending

This paper investigates the effects of stock market wealth on consumer spending. Traditional macroeconometric models estimate that a dollar's increase in stock market wealth boosts consumer spending by 3-7 cents per year. With the substantial 1990s rise in stock prices, the nature and magnitude of this "wealth effect" have been much debated. After describing the issues and reviewing previous research, I present new evidence from the SRC Surveys of Consumers. The survey results are broadly consistent with lifecycle saving and a modest wealth effect: Most stockholders reported no ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 1998-20

Working Paper
Saving and financial planning: some findings from a focus group

This paper summarizes the results of a focus group on saving and financial planning. The group consisted of eight individuals with relatively high income and wealth. The savings behavior of such people is of interest partly due to their large contribution to total personal saving. The participants expressed concerns about how their circumstances will change as they age, and about uncertainties in income and health. While these concerns are consistent with theories emphasizing life-cycle and precautionary motives, the idea that saving involves self-control was also mentioned repeatedly.
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 96-1

Working Paper
Household saving and portfolio change: evidence from the 1983-89 SCF panel

There are very few sources of high-quality data on the dynamics of wealth accumulation. This paper uses newly-available data from the 1983-89 panel of the Survey of Consumer Finances to examine household saving and portfolio change over the 1980s. The 1983 SCF collected detailed information on households' assets, liabilities, income and other characteristics for a sample of 4,103 families. In 1989, 1,479 of these families were re-interviewed using a similar questionnaire. After describing the sample and methodology of the panel survey, we analyze changes in household wealth over the 1983-89 ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 96-18

Working Paper
The effects of weather on retail sales

Monthly fluctuations in consumer spending are often attributed to the weather. This paper presents a model in which weather affects the productivity of time in nonmarket activities (such as shopping or recreation), and so, via time and budget constraints, may induce substitution in spending across goods and over time. Using monthly data on retail sales and weather data from the National Weather Service, I find that unusual weather has a modest but significant role in explaining monthly sales fluctuations. However, lagged effects often offset original effects, so that weather's influence tends ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2000-08

Working Paper
Vehicle ownership, vehicle acquisitions and the growth of auto leasing: evidence from consumer surveys

This paper documents the basic features of data on motor vehicles from the Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Consumer Finances and the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Expenditure Survey. Despite some methodological differences between the two surveys, we find that they yield strikingly similar pictures of households' vehicle holdings. The survey data are also quite consistent with population estimates of vehicle stocks obtained from other sources. Finally, we document the growth of auto leasing by consumers, and find little evidence for the commonly-held view that liquidity constraints ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 96-35

Working Paper
Recent trends in compensation practices

According to some accounts, compensation practices have recently been undergoing marked changes, with an increasing number of firms said to be substituting lump-sum payments for regular pay increases, allowing for greater variability of remuneration across individuals or groups, and making greater use of profit sharing or stock options. Many of these practices are outside the scope of the typical measures of economy-wide compensation growth. Moreover, intensified use of these schemes ought to heighten the responsiveness of overall compensation costs to business conditions and could also, in ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 1999-32

Working Paper
Technology, capital spending, and capacity utilization

This paper examines the relationships between technology, capital spending, and capacity utilization. Recent technological changes have increased the flexibility of relationships between inputs and outputs in manufacturing, which may have eroded the predictive value of the utilization rate. This paper considers how technology might be expected to affect utilization. We show that recent changes could either lower average utilization by making it cheaper to hold excess capacity, or raise utilization by making further changes in capacity less costly and time-consuming. We then examine the ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2004-30

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