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Household wealth, portfolio selection and consumption behavior

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  • P.-O. BEFFY

    (Insee)

  • B. MONFORT

    (Insee)

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    Abstract

    In the past twenty years, household wealth undergoes profound changes and in particular a notable increase of the share of financial wealth. The hike of stock market prices in the late 1990s, the burst of the speculative bubble since the summer of 2000 and the continued upsurge of housing prices lead to important swings of the value of household wealth. These large changes raise a number of issues concerning their consequences, both real - in terms of consumption and savings - and financial - in terms of portfolio selection. This article studies the break up of wealth between different assets (portfolio choice theory) and the impact of aggregate wealth on consumption (wealth effect), taking into account population ageing. The age of consumers indeed influences both the level of their savings (life-cycle theory) and their investment horizon (short vs. long-run). We should expect that older households, on average, would lean towards more liquid assets as their remaining life span is narrowing. The share of housing wealth in aggregate wealth should decrease. Population aging should also lead to an increase of the aggregate saving rate for at least the coming twenty years.

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    File URL: http://www.insee.fr/fr/publications-et-services/docs_doc_travail/G2003-08.pdf
    File Function: Document de travail de la DESE numéro G2003-08
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, DESE in its series Documents de Travail de la DESE - Working Papers of the DESE with number g2003-08.

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    Date of creation: 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:crs:wpdeee:g2003-08

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    Related research

    Keywords: household wealth; wealth effect; portfolio selection; population ageing;

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    References

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    1. Karl E. Case & John M. Quigley & Robert J. Shiller, 2001. "Comparing Wealth Effects: The Stock Market versus the Housing Market," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1335, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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    3. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-91, 03.
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    12. Morris A. Davis & Michael G. Palumbo, 2001. "A primer on the economics and time series econometrics of wealth effects," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-09, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    13. James Banks & Richard Blundell & James P. Smith, 2002. "Wealth Portfolios in the UK and the US," NBER Working Papers 9128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Martin Lettau & Sydney Ludvigson & Nathan Barczi, 2001. "A primer on the economics and time series econometrics of wealth effects: a comment," Staff Reports 131, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    15. Laurence Boone & Nathalie Girouard & Isabelle Wanner, 2001. "Financial Market Liberalisation, Wealth and Consumption," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 308, OECD Publishing.
    16. Orazio Attanasio & Susanne Rohwedder, 2001. "Pension wealth and household saving: evidence from pension reforms in the UK," IFS Working Papers W01/21, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    17. André Masson & Luc Arrondel, 1996. "Gestion du risque et comportements patrimoniaux," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 296(1), pages 63-89.
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