Optimism and Economic Choice
AbstractThis paper presents some of the first large-scale survey evidence linking optimism to major economic choices. We create a novel measure of optimism using the Survey of Consumer Finance by comparing a person's self-reported life expectancy to that implied by statistical tables. Optimists are more likely to believe that future economic conditions will improve. Self-employed respondents are more optimistic than regular wage earners. In general, more optimistic people work harder and anticipate longer age-adjusted work careers. They are more likely to remarry, conditional on divorce. In addition, they tilt their investment portfolios more toward individual stocks.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11361.
Date of creation: May 2005
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This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-05-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENT-2005-05-23 (Entrepreneurship)
- NEP-FIN-2005-05-23 (Finance)
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