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Financial Risk Aversion and Household Asset Diversification

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  • Nataliya Barasinska
  • Dorothea Schäfer
  • Andreas Stephan

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between risk attitude and asset diversification in household portfolios. We first examine the impact of manifested risk aversion on the total number of distinct assets held in a portfolio (naive diversification). The second part of the paper focuses on a more sophisticated strategy of diversification and asks whether financial theory is compatible with observed diversification patterns. Based on the German Socioeconomic Panel which provides unique measures of individual propensity for taking risk, the results of the regression analysis show that, along with some socioeconomic characteristics, the propensity for taking investment risk is an important predictor of a household's diversification strategy. However, some of our findings are strongly at odds with what the concept of mean-variance utility suggests.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.87969.de/dp807.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 807.

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Length: 28 p.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp807

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Keywords: household finances; diversification; financial portfolio;

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Cited by:
  1. Andrew C. Worthington, 2009. "Household Asset Portfolio Diversification: Evidence from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey," Discussion Papers in Finance finance:200908, Griffith University, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics.

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