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Income Risk, Borrowing Constraints, and Portfolio Choice

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  • Guiso, Luigi
  • Jappelli, Tullio
  • Terlizzese, Daniele

Abstract

Economic theory suggests that uninsurable income risk and the expectation of future borrowing constraints can reduce the share of risky assets in a household's portfolio. If the utility function exhibits decreasing absolute risk aversion and decreasing prudence, an individual will reduce his exposure to rate-of-return risks when confronted with other independent risks. If there are transaction costs, the expectation of future borrowing constraints should induce individuals to keep a lower proportion of their wealth in the form of illiquid and risky assets. The authors find support for these propositions in a cross-section of Italian households. Copyright 1996 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1996. "Income Risk, Borrowing Constraints, and Portfolio Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 158-172, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:86:y:1996:i:1:p:158-72
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Heng-fu Zou, 1993. "The Capitalist Spirit and a Resolution of the Savings Puzzle," CEMA Working Papers 478, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
    2. Hansen, Lars Peter & Jagannathan, Ravi, 1991. "Implications of Security Market Data for Models of Dynamic Economies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 225-262, April.
    3. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
    4. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-987, December.
    5. Hansen, Lars Peter & Heaton, John & Luttmer, Erzo G J, 1995. "Econometric Evaluation of Asset Pricing Models," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, pages 237-274.
    6. Constantinides, George M, 1990. "Habit Formation: A Resolution of the Equity Premium Puzzle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 519-543, June.
    7. Robson, Arthur J, 1992. "Status, the Distribution of Wealth, Private and Social Attitudes to Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 837-857, July.
    8. Ferson, Wayne E. & Constantinides, George M., 1991. "Habit persistence and durability in aggregate consumption: Empirical tests," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 199-240, October.
    9. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "The Utility of Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 151-151.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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