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Optimal consumption and asset allocation with unknown income growth

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  • Wang, Neng

Abstract

Recent empirical evidence supports the view that the income process has an individual-specific growth rate component [Baker, M., 1997. Growth-rate heterogeneity and the covariance structure of life-cycle earnings. Journal of Labor Economics 15, 338-375; Guvenen, F., 2007b. Learning your earning: Are labor income shocks really very persistent? American Economic Review 97, 687-712; Huggett, M., Ventura, G., Yaron, A., 2007. Sources of life-cycle inequality. Working paper, University of Pennsylvania]. Moreover, the individual-specific growth component may be stochastic. Motivated by these empirical observations, I study an individual's optimal consumption-saving and portfolio choice problem when he does not observe his income growth. As in standard income fluctuation problems, the individual cannot fully insure himself against income shocks. In addition to the standard income-risk-induced precautionary saving demand, the individual also has learning-induced precautionary saving demand, which is greater when belief is more uncertain. With constant unobserved income growth, changes in belief are not predictable. However, with stationary stochastic income growth, belief is no longer a martingale. Mean reversion of belief reduces hedging demand on average and in turn mitigates the impact of estimation risk on consumption-saving and portfolio decisions.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Monetary Economics.

Volume (Year): 56 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (May)
Pages: 524-534

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:56:y:2009:i:4:p:524-534

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

Related research

Keywords: Incomplete markets Precautionary saving Learning Hedging Estimation risk;

References

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  1. Fatih Guvenen, 2007. "Learning Your Earning: Are Labor Income Shocks Really Very Persistent?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 687-712, June.
  2. Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1995. "Individual Income, Incomplete Information, and Aggregate Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 805-40, July.
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  19. Baker, Michael, 1997. "Growth-Rate Heterogeneity and the Covariance Structure of Life-Cycle Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 338-75, April.
  20. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Christensen, Peter Ove & Larsen, Kasper & Munk, Claus, 2012. "Equilibrium in securities markets with heterogeneous investors and unspanned income risk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(3), pages 1035-1063.

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