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The role of risk aversion and intertemporal substitution in dynamic consumption-portfolio choice with recursive utility

  • Bhamra, Harjoat S.
  • Uppal, Raman

The objective of this paper is to understand the implications for consumption and portfolio choice of the separation of an investor’s risk aversion and elasticity of intertemporal substitution that is made possible by recursive utility, in contrast to expected utility, where the two are governed by the same parameter. In particular, we study exactly how risk aversion and elasticity of intertemporal substitution affect optimal dynamic consumption and portfolio decisions. For a three-date, discrete-time model with a stochastic interest rate, we obtain an exact analytic solution for the optimal consumption and portfolio policies. We find that, in general, the consumption and portfolio decisions depend on both risk aversion and the elasticity of intertemporal substitution. Only in the case where the investment opportunity set is constant, is the optimal portfolio weight independent of the elasticity of intertemporal substitution. We also find that the size of risk aversion relative to unity determines the sign of the intertemporal hedging component in the optimal portfolio, while elasticity of intertemporal substitution affects only the magnitude of the hedging component.

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

Volume (Year): 30 (2006)
Issue (Month): 6 (June)
Pages: 967-991

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Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:30:y:2006:i:6:p:967-991
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc

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  1. Philippe Weil, 1989. "The Equity Premium Puzzle and the Riskfree Rate Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 2829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. George Chacko & Luis M. Viceira, 2005. "Dynamic Consumption and Portfolio Choice with Stochastic Volatility in Incomplete Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(4), pages 1369-1402.
  3. repec:fth:harver:1421 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Maurice Obstfeld, 1992. "Risk-taking, global diversification, and growth," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 61, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Dumas, Bernard & Uppal, Raman, 2001. "Global Diversification, Growth, and Welfare with Imperfectly Integrated Markets for Goods," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(1), pages 277-305.
  6. Ma, Chenghu, 1993. "Market Equilibrium with Heterogenous Recursive-Utility-Maximizing Agents," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 243-66, April.
  7. Viceira, Luis & Campbell, John, 2001. "Who Should Buy Long-Term Bonds?," Scholarly Articles 3128709, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. 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.
  9. Svensson, L.E.O., 1988. "Portfolio Choice With Non-Expected Utility In Continuous Time," Papers 423, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  10. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
  11. Schroder, Mark & Skiadas, Costis, 2003. "Optimal lifetime consumption-portfolio strategies under trading constraints and generalized recursive preferences," Stochastic Processes and their Applications, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 155-202, December.
  12. Weil, Philippe, 1990. "Nonexpected Utility in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 29-42, February.
  13. David M Kreps & Evan L Porteus, 1978. "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Dynamic Choice Theory," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000009, David K. Levine.
  14. Alberto Giovannini & Philippe Weil, 1989. "Risk Aversion and Intertemporal Substitution in the Capital Asset Pricing Model," NBER Working Papers 2824, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Campbell, John Y. & Viceira, Luis M., 2002. "Strategic Asset Allocation: Portfolio Choice for Long-Term Investors," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296942.
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