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Optimal life-cycle portfolios for heterogeneous workers

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  • Fabio C. Bagliano

    ()
    (Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino, Italy)

  • Carolina Fugazza

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Milan-Bicocca)

  • Giovanna Nicodano

    ()
    (Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino, Italy)

Abstract

Household portfolios include risky bonds, beyond stocks, and respond to permanent labour income shocks. This paper brings these features into a life-cycle setting, and shows that optimal stock investment is constant or increasing in age before retirement for realistic parameter combinations. The driver of such inversion in the life-cycle profile is the resolution of uncertainty regarding social security pension, which increases the investor's risk appetite. This occurs if a small positive contemporaneous correlation between permanent labour income shocks and stock returns is matched by a realistically high variance of such shocks and/or risk aversion. Absent this combination, the typical downward sloping profile obtains. Overlooking differences in optimal investment profiles across heterogeneous workers results in large welfare losses, in the order of 17-26% of lifetime consumption.

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File URL: http://eco83.econ.unito.it/RePEc/wp/m12.pdf
File Function: First version, 2012
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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino in its series Working papers with number 012.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tur:wpapnw:012

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Keywords: Life-cycle portfolio choice; background risk; age rule; investor heterogeneity; stock market participation;

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