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Reexamining the Empirical Relevance of Habit Formation Preferences

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  • Cai, Zongwu
  • Liu, Xuan
  • Yang, Fang

Abstract

We reexamine the empirical relevance of habit formation preferences with micro-data on households' portfolio choices. We first derive the analytical solution to the risky asset share in a theoretical model with both habits and time-varying labor income. Our analytical results indicate that (1) for each household, there are two channels through which the risky asset share responds to wealth fluctuations, habits and household income; (2) across households, there are heterogenous responses through the habit channel: those who experience large negative income shocks reduce their share of risky assets; and (3) two potential mis-identification problems arise when both two channels and the heterogeneity are ignored. Contrary to the existing literature, our empirical results find positive evidence of habit formation preferences after correcting the two mis-identification problems.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 37817.

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Date of creation: 03 Apr 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:37817

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Keywords: Habit formation; Micro data; Portfolio choice;

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  1. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1995. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," NBER Working Papers 4995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper Series, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago WP-01-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. Lawrence J. Christiano & Michele Boldrin & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2001. "Habit Persistence, Asset Returns, and the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 149-166, March.
  4. Raquel Carrasco & José M. Labeaga & J. David López-Salido, 2005. "Consumption and Habits: Evidence from Panel Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 144-165, 01.
  5. 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.
  6. Morten Ravn & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2004. "Deep Habits," NBER Working Papers 10261, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jessica A. Wachter & Motohiro Yogo, 2010. "Why Do Household Portfolio Shares Rise in Wealth?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(11), pages 3929-3965, November.
  8. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Stefan Nagel, 2006. "Do Wealth Fluctuations Generate Time-varying Risk Aversion? Micro-Evidence on Individuals' Asset Allocation," NBER Working Papers 12809, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Karen E. Dynan, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumer Preferences: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 391-406, June.
  10. Uribe, Martin, 2002. "The price-consumption puzzle of currency pegs," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 533-569, April.
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