Consumption in the shadow of unemployment


By how much do employed households reduce their consumption when the aggregate unemployment rate rises? In Spain during the Great Recession a one point increase in the unemployment rate was related to a strong reduction in household consumption of more than 0.7% per equivalent adult. This reduction is consistent with forward-looking agents responding to downward revisions of their expectations on future income growth rates: the shadow of unemployment. Using consumption panel data that include information on physical quantities we show that the drop in consumption expenditure was truly a reduction in quantities, and not a switch to cheaper alternatives.

European Economic Review
Rodolfo G. Campos
Rodolfo G. Campos

My research interests include macroeconomics, social insurance, and international economics.