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Abstract

The Effects of the Financial Crisis on Actual and Anticipated Consumption
by Michael Hurd and Susann Rohwedder
WP 2011-255
We studied how households adjust their spending in response to the financial crisis. Based on five waves of data from the Consumption and Activities Mail Survey, we quantified the reduction in total consumption and in specific categories of consumption in the older population at large and by stock ownership, both as a proxy for wealth and to test assumptions about whether stock ownership was associated with different responses. In particular, we compared consumption changes between 2007 and 2009 with consumption changes over prior years. We used panel data on anticipated changes in spending at retirement to quantify the effects of the financial crisis on well-being in retirement via a difference-in-differences approach.
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