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Horizon Length and Portfolio Risk

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  • Christian Gollier
  • Richard J. Zeckhauser

Abstract

In this paper, we compare the attitude towards current risk of two expected-utility-maximizing investors that are identical except that the first investor will live longer than the" second one. In one of the models under consideration, there are two assets at every period. The" first asset has a zero sure return, whereas the second asset is risky without serial correlation of" yields. It is often suggested that the young investor should purchase more of the risky asset than" the old investor in such circumstances. We show that a necessary and sufficient condition to get" this property is that the Arrow-Pratt index of absolute tolerance (Tu) be convex. If we allow for a" positive risk-free rate, the necessary and sufficient condition is Tu convex extends the well-known result that investors are myopic in this model if and only if the utility" function exhibits constant relative risk aversion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Technical Working Papers with number 0216.

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Date of creation: Oct 1997
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Publication status: published as Gollier, Christian and Richard J. Zeckhauser. "Horizon Length And Portfolio Risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 2002, v24(3,May), 195-212.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberte:0216

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  1. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1994. "Income Risk, Borrowing Constraints and Portfolio Choice," CEPR Discussion Papers 888, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Bodie, Zvi & Merton, Robert C. & Samuelson, William F., 1992. "Labor supply flexibility and portfolio choice in a life cycle model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 427-449.
  3. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
  4. Miles S. Kimball, 1991. "Standard Risk Aversion," NBER Technical Working Papers 0099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. He Hua & Huang Chi-fu, 1994. "Consumption-Portfolio Policies: An Inverse Optimal Problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 257-293, April.
  6. Gollier, C. & Lindsey, J. & Zeckhauser, R., 1996. "Investment Flexibility and the Acceptance of Risk," Papers 96.421, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  7. Cox, John C. & Leland, Hayne E., 2000. "On dynamic investment strategies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(11-12), pages 1859-1880, October.
  8. Kessler, Denis & Wolff, Edward N, 1991. "A Comparative Analysis of Household Wealth Patterns in France and the United States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(3), pages 249-66, September.
  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.
  10. Pratt, John W & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1987. "Proper Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 143-54, January.
  11. Dybvig, Philip H & Lippman, Steven A, 1983. "An Alternative Characterization of Decreasing Absolute Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 223-24, January.
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