Heterogeneity in Intra-Monthly Consumption. Patterns, Self-Control, and Savings at Retirement

by Giovanni Mastrobuoni and Matthew Weinberg; WP CeRP 57/07




Using data from the Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals, this paper describes the shape of consumption profiles over the month for Social Security benefit recipients. Individuals with income mostly made up of Social Security benefits and who have some savings smooth consumption over the pay period, while individuals with little savings consume 25 percent fewer calories the week before checks are received relative to the week after checks are received. The findings for individuals with little savings are inconsistent with the Permanent Income/Lifecycle Hypothesis, but are consistent with hyperbolic discounting.


February 2007


WP_57.pdf (PDF document — 617 KB)