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Precautionary portfolio behavior from a life-cycle perspective

  • Bertaut, Carol C.
  • Haliassos, Michael

The literature on household asset accumulation draws a sharp distinction between "short-run" precautionary motives to buffer consumption from annual income shocks, and "long-run" life cycle considerations under income certainty. However, estimates of shock persistence imply considerable career uncertainty. We study long-run precautionary motives for life-cycle wealth accumulation and portfolios allowing for uncertain returns, incomes, and lifespan. We separate the effects of various factors on mean and median asset holdings, including education, risk aversion, household heterogeneity, bequests, impatience, variance and serial correlation of income shocks. Numerical solutions are compared with data from the 1992 Survey of Consumer Finances.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Volume (Year): 21 (1997)
Issue (Month): 8-9 (June)
Pages: 1511-1542

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Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:21:y:1997:i:8-9:p:1511-1542
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc

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