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Housing Wealth, Financial Wealth and Consumption in China

By Jie Chen, Feng Guo and Aiyong Zhu

Abstract

The paper investigates the relationship between changes in asset wealth and the trend movements of household consumption in urban China. Using the vector error correction cointegration model, we demonstrate that there is a unique long-run cointegrating relationship between household consumption, disposable income, financial wealth and housing wealth in urban China. We find that housing wealth is the only factor that restores the long-run equilibrium relationship when the cointegrated system is disturbed by an external shock. In addition, our permanent-transitory variance decomposition analysis indicates that nearly all variance in the movement of consumption is permanent, supporting the classical random walk hypothesis of consumption behavior. However, a large proportion of variance in the short-run movements of housing wealth is found to be transitory. Copyright (c) 2009 The Authors Journal compilation (c) 2009 Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1749-124X.2009.01150.x
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