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Abstract: Consumption growth is predictable, a basic violation of the permanent-income hypothesis. This paper examines three possible explanations: rule-of-thumb behavior, in which households allow consumption to track per-period income flows rather than permanent income; habit persistence; and non-separability in preferences over consumption and leisure. The data appear most consistent with non-separable preferences over consumption and leisure.

Keywords: Habit persistence, inattention, excess sensitivity, excess smoothness

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