Optimal Life-Cycle Investing with Flexible Labor Supply: A Welfare Analysis of Life-Cycle Funds
AbstractWe investigate optimal consumption, asset accumulation and portfolio decisions in a realistically calibrated life-cycle model with flexible labor supply. Our framework allows for wage rate uncertainly, variable labor supply, social security benefits and portfolio choice over safe bonds and risky equities. Our analysis reinforces prior findings that equities are the preferred asset for young households, with the optimal share of equities generally declining prior to retirement. However, variable labor materially alters pre-retirement portfolio choice by significantly raising optimal equity holdings. Using this model, we also investigate the welfare costs of constraining portfolio allocations over the life cycle to mimic popular default investment choices in defined-contribution pension plans, such as stable value funds, balanced funds, and life-cycle (or target date) funds. We find that life-cycle funds designed to match the risk tolerance and investment horizon of investors have small welfare costs. All other choices, including life-cycle funds which do not match investors' risk tolerance, can have substantial welfare costs.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13966.
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Francisco J. Gomes & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Luis M. Viceira, 2008. "Optimal Life-Cycle Investing with Flexible Labor Supply: A Welfare Analysis of Life-Cycle Funds," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 297-303, May.
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- Francisco J. Gomes & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Luis M. Viceira, 2008. "Optimal Life-Cycle Investing with Flexible Labor Supply: A Welfare Analysis of Life-Cycle Funds," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 297-303, May.
- D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
- D91 - Microeconomics - - Intertemporal Choice - - - Intertemporal Household Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
- E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
- G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
- G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
- G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
- H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
- H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-04-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-DGE-2008-04-29 (Dynamic General Equilibrium)
- NEP-MAC-2008-04-29 (Macroeconomics)
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