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Risk Aversion and Planning Horizon

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  • Bommier, Antoine
  • Rochet, Jean-Charles

Abstract

A number of empirical studies seem to reject the additive separability of preferences that is assumed in most theoretical models of the life cycle. We show that, when additive separability is abandoned and interactions between consumptions at different dates are taken into account, an interesting relation emerges between risk aversion and length of the planning horizon.Specifically, we show that when consumptions at different dates are specific substitutes, risk aversion increases with horizon length. This may explain the surprising empirical finding that individuals seem to increase the share of wealth held in risky assets as they become older. (JEL: D11, D91, G11) Copyright (c) 2006 by the European Economic Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 204.

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Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision: Nov 2004
Publication status: Published in Journal of the European Economic Association, vol.�4, n°4, juin 2006, p.�708-734.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:3411

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  1. Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli, 2000. "Household Portfolios in Italy," CSEF Working Papers 43, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  2. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1986. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 41, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  3. Fumio Hayashi, 1982. "The Effect of Liquidity Constraints on Consumption: Cross-Sectional Analysis," Discussion Papers 516, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Raquel Carrasco & José M. Labeaga & J. David López-Salido, 2005. "Consumption and Habits: Evidence from Panel Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 144-165, 01.
  5. Monica Paiella & Luigi Guiso, 2004. "Risk Aversion, Wealth and Background Risk," 2004 Meeting Papers 525, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Karni, Edi, 1983. "On the correspondence between multivariate risk aversion and risk aversion with state-dependent preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 230-242, August.
  7. Kreps, David M & Porteus, Evan L, 1978. "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Dynamic Choice Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 185-200, January.
  8. Zvi Bodie & Robert C. Merton & William F. Samuelson, 1992. "Labor Supply Flexibility and Portfolio Choice in a Life-Cycle Model," NBER Working Papers 3954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Merton, Robert C, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection under Uncertainty: The Continuous-Time Case," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 247-57, August.
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  12. Roger E.A. Farmer, 1989. "Rince Preferences," UCLA Economics Working Papers 547, UCLA Department of Economics.
  13. Browning, Martin, 1991. "A Simple Nonadditive Preference Structure for Models of Household Behavior over Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 607-37, June.
  14. Karni, Edi, 1979. "On Multivariate Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(6), pages 1391-1401, November.
  15. Christian Gollier & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1997. "Horizon Length and Portfolio Risk," NBER Technical Working Papers 0216, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
  17. Robert B. Barsky & Miles S. Kimball & F. Thomas Juster & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1995. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 5213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  19. Samuelson, Paul A, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection by Dynamic Stochastic Programming," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 239-46, August.
  20. Karen E. Dynan, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumer Preferences: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 391-406, June.
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  22. Hanoch, Giora, 1977. "Risk Aversion and Consumer Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(2), pages 413-26, March.
  23. Ryder, Harl E, Jr & Heal, Geoffrey M, 1973. "Optimum Growth with Intertemporally Dependent Preferences," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 1-33, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Antoine Bommier, 2008. "Rational Impatience ?," Working Papers hal-00441880, HAL.
  2. Antoine Bommier, 2011. "Life-Cycle Preferences Revisited," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 11/155, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  3. Ton S. van den Bremer & Frederick van der Ploeg, 2012. "How to Spend a Windfall: Dealing with volatility and capital scarcity," OxCarre Working Papers 085, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  4. Antoine Bommier, 2006. "Mortality, Time Preference and Life-Cycle Models," Working Papers hal-00441888, HAL.
  5. van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2009. "Prudent monetary policy and prediction of the output gap," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 217-230, June.
  6. Anne Lavigne, 2006. "Gouvernance et investissement des fonds de pension privés aux Etats-Unis," Working Papers halshs-00081401, HAL.
  7. Skander J. Van den Heuvel, 2008. "Temporal risk aversion and asset prices," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-37, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Frederick Ploeg, 2010. "Political economy of prudent budgetary policy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 295-314, June.
  9. Frédéric Gonand, 2006. "Réforme des retraites, marchés financiers et investissement socialement responsable : les affinités électives," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 85(4), pages 285-294.

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