IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v109y2019i3p1116-54.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Does Household Finance Matter? Small Financial Errors with Large Social Costs

Author

Listed:
  • Harjoat S. Bhamra
  • Raman Uppal

Abstract

Households with familiarity biases tilt their portfolios toward a few risky assets. The resulting mean-variance loss from portfolio underdiversification is equivalent to only a modest reduction of about 1 percent per year in a household's portfolio return. However, once we consider also the effect of familiarity biases on the asset-allocation and intertemporal consumption-savings decisions, the welfare loss is multiplied by a factor of four. In general equilibrium, the suboptimal decisions of households distort also aggregate growth, amplifying further the overall social welfare loss. Our findings demonstrate that financial markets are not a mere sideshow to the real economy and that improving the financial decisions of households can lead to large benefits, not just for individual households, but also for society.

Suggested Citation

  • Harjoat S. Bhamra & Raman Uppal, 2019. "Does Household Finance Matter? Small Financial Errors with Large Social Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(3), pages 1116-1154, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:109:y:2019:i:3:p:1116-54
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20161076
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/doi/10.1257/aer.20161076
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles/attachments?retrieve=-K-tSCrz91DfH8-F6rIX10YyEuBWLhHp
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles/attachments?retrieve=3XW2gwgGAdS66nrAsR_O3MF9eWYH9Q93
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1994. "Risk-Taking, Global Diversification, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1310-1329, December.
    2. Barro, Robert J & Mankiw, N Gregory & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1995. "Capital Mobility in Neoclassical Models of Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 103-115, March.
    3. Nataliya Barasinska & Dorothea Schäfer & Andreas Stephan, 2008. "Financial Risk Aversion and Household Asset Diversification," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 807, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Riccardo Colacito & Mariano M. Croce, 2011. "Risks for the Long Run and the Real Exchange Rate," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 153-181.
    5. Robert Ready & Mariano Croce & Federico Gavazzoni & Riccardo Colacito, 2016. "Currency Risk Factors in a Recursive Multi-Country Economy," 2016 Meeting Papers 297, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Riccardo Colacito & Mariano M. Croce, 2013. "International Asset Pricing with Recursive Preferences," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 68(6), pages 2651-2686, December.
    7. Raman Uppal & Tan Wang, 2003. "Model Misspecification and Underdiversification," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(6), pages 2465-2486, December.
    8. Constantinides, George M & Duffie, Darrell, 1996. "Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Consumers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 219-240, April.
    9. Dimmock, Stephen G. & Kouwenberg, Roy & Mitchell, Olivia S. & Peijnenburg, Kim, 2016. "Ambiguity aversion and household portfolio choice puzzles: Empirical evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(3), pages 559-577.
    10. Back, Kerry, 2010. "Asset Pricing and Portfolio Choice Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195380613.
    11. Riccardo Colacito & Mariano M. Croce, 2012. "International Robust Disagreement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 152-155, May.
    12. Daniel Kahneman & Peter P. Wakker & Rakesh Sarin, 1997. "Back to Bentham? Explorations of Experienced Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 375-406.
    13. Massimo Massa & Andrei Simonov, 2006. "Hedging, Familiarity and Portfolio Choice," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(2), pages 633-685.
    14. repec:hrv:faseco:34330194 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Raj Chetty, 2015. "Behavioral Economics and Public Policy: A Pragmatic Perspective," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 1-33, May.
    16. Laurent E. Calvet & John Y. Campbell & Paolo Sodini, 2007. "Down or Out: Assessing the Welfare Costs of Household Investment Mistakes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 707-747, October.
    17. Guiso, Luigi & Sodini, Paolo, 2013. "Household Finance: An Emerging Field," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 1397-1532, Elsevier.
    18. Richard H. Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save More Tomorrow (TM): Using Behavioral Economics to Increase Employee Saving," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages 164-187, February.
    19. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2000. "Trading Is Hazardous to Your Wealth: The Common Stock Investment Performance of Individual Investors," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(2), pages 773-806, April.
    20. Riccardo Colacito & Mariano M. Croce, 2010. "The Short and Long Run Benefits of Financial Integration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 527-531, May.
    21. Philip Bond & Alex Edmans & Itay Goldstein, 2012. "The Real Effects of Financial Markets," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 339-360, October.
    22. Larry G. Epstein & Stanley E. Zin, 2013. "Substitution, risk aversion and the temporal behavior of consumption and asset returns: A theoretical framework," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Leonard C MacLean & William T Ziemba (ed.), HANDBOOK OF THE FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DECISION MAKING Part I, chapter 12, pages 207-239, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    23. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. "Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
    24. Kollmann, Robert, 2016. "International business cycles and risk sharing with uncertainty shocks and recursive preferences," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 115-124.
    25. Pierre Collin-Dufresne & Michael Johannes & Lars A. Lochstoer, 2013. "Asset Pricing When 'This Time is Different'," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 13-73, Swiss Finance Institute, revised Jan 2016.
    26. Philippe Weil, 1990. "Nonexpected Utility in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 29-42.
    27. Henrik Cronqvist & Richard H. Thaler, 2004. "Design Choices in Privatized Social-Security Systems: Learning from the Swedish Experience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 424-428, May.
    28. Joao F. Cocco, 2005. "Portfolio Choice in the Presence of Housing," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(2), pages 535-567.
    29. Joao F. Cocco, 2005. "Consumption and Portfolio Choice over the Life Cycle," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(2), pages 491-533.
    30. Andrew C. Worthington, 2009. "Household Asset Portfolio Diversification: Evidence from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey," Discussion Papers in Finance finance:200908, Griffith University, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics.
    31. Michael Haliassos, 2003. "Stockholding: Recent Lessons from Theory and Computations," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Luigi Guiso & Michael Haliassos & Tullio Jappelli (ed.), Stockholding in Europe, chapter 2, pages 30-49, Palgrave Macmillan.
    32. Valery Polkovnichenko, 2005. "Household Portfolio Diversification: A Case for Rank-Dependent Preferences," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(4), pages 1467-1502.
    33. Schroder, Mark & Skiadas, Costis, 1999. "Optimal Consumption and Portfolio Selection with Stochastic Differential Utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 68-126, November.
    34. Cooper, Ian & Kaplanis, Evi, 1994. "Home Bias in Equity Portfolios, Inflation Hedging, and International Capital Market Equilibrium," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(1), pages 45-60.
    35. G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), 2013. "Handbook of the Economics of Finance," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, Elsevier, volume 2, number 2-b.
    36. Luc Arrondel & Bruno Lefebvre, 2001. "Behavior of Household Portfolios in France: the Role of Housing," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 47(4), pages 489-514, December.
    37. G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), 2013. "Handbook of the Economics of Finance," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, Elsevier, volume 2, number 2-a.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Firth, Chris, 2020. "Protecting investors from themselves: Evidence from a regulatory intervention," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C).
    2. Fong, Joelle H. & Koh, Benedict SK. & Mitchell, Olivia S. & Rohwedder, Susann, 2019. "Financial literacy and suboptimal financial decisions at older ages," CFS Working Paper Series 630, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    3. Xiaomeng Lu & Jingna Xiao & Yu Wu, 2021. "Financial literacy and household asset allocation: Evidence from micro‐data in China," Journal of Consumer Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 1464-1488, December.
    4. Fong, Joelle H. & Koh, Benedict S.K. & Mitchell, Olivia S. & Rohwedder, Susann, 2021. "Financial literacy and financial decision-making at older ages," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    5. Melanie Koch & Thomas Scheiber, 2022. "Household savings in CESEE: expectations, experiences and common predictors," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue Q1/22, pages 29-54.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Raman Uppal & Harjoat Bhamra, 2016. "Do Individual Behavioral Biases Affect Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy?," 2016 Meeting Papers 1358, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Francisco Gomes & Michael Haliassos & Tarun Ramadorai, 2021. "Household Finance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 59(3), pages 919-1000, September.
    3. Guiso, Luigi & Sodini, Paolo, 2013. "Household Finance: An Emerging Field," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 1397-1532, Elsevier.
    4. John Y. Campbell, 2006. "Household Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(4), pages 1553-1604, August.
    5. Coeurdacier, Nicolas & Rey, Hélène & Winant, Pablo, 2020. "Financial integration and growth in a risky world," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 1-21.
    6. Annamaria Lusardi & Pierre-Carl Michaud & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2017. "Optimal Financial Knowledge and Wealth Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(2), pages 431-477.
    7. Buss, Adrian & Uppal, Raman & Vilkov, Grigory, 2018. "The Implications of Financial Innovation for Capital Markets and Household Welfare," CEPR Discussion Papers 13137, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Phelim Boyle & Lorenzo Garlappi & Raman Uppal & Tan Wang, 2012. "Keynes Meets Markowitz: The Trade-Off Between Familiarity and Diversification," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(2), pages 253-272, February.
    9. Emi Nakamura & Dmitriy Sergeyev & Jón Steinsson, 2017. "Growth-Rate and Uncertainty Shocks in Consumption: Cross-Country Evidence," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 1-39, January.
    10. Scott R. Baker & Stephanie Johnson & Lorenz Kueng, 2020. "Financial Returns to Household Inventory Management," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 20-114, Swiss Finance Institute.
    11. Robert Kollmann, 2019. "Explaining International Business Cycle Synchronization: Recursive Preferences and the Terms of Trade Channel," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 65-85, February.
    12. Guiso, Luigi & Pozzi, Andrea & Tsoy, Anton & Gambacorta, Leonardo & Mistrulli, Paolo Emilio, 2022. "The cost of steering in financial markets: Evidence from the mortgage market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(3), pages 1209-1226.
    13. Briggs, Joseph & Cesarini, David & Lindqvist, Erik & Östling, Robert, 2021. "Windfall gains and stock market participation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 57-83.
    14. Florentsen, Bjarne & Nielsson, Ulf & Raahauge, Peter & Rangvid, Jesper, 2020. "Turning local: Home-bias dynamics of relocating foreigners," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 436-452.
    15. Firth, Chris, 2020. "Protecting investors from themselves: Evidence from a regulatory intervention," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C).
    16. Karen K. Lewis & Edith X. Liu, 2012. "International Consumption Risk Is Shared After All: An Asset Return View," NBER Working Papers 17872, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Robert Kollmann, 2017. "Explaining International Business Cycle Synchronization," 2017 Meeting Papers 1489, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    18. Milo Bianchi & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2019. "Ambiguity Preferences and Portfolio Choices: Evidence from the Field," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 65(4), pages 1486-1501, April.
    19. Russell Cooper & Guozhong Zhu, 2016. "Household Finance over the Life-Cycle: What does Education Contribute?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 20, pages 63-89, April.
    20. Lewis, Karen K. & Liu, Edith X., 2015. "Evaluating international consumption risk sharing gains: An asset return view," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 84-98.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G41 - Financial Economics - - Behavioral Finance - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making in Financial Markets

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:109:y:2019:i:3:p:1116-54. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Michael P. Albert (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.