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Individual risk attitudes and the composition of financial portfolios: Evidence from German household portfolios

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  • Barasinska, Nataliya
  • Schäfer, Dorothea
  • Stephan, Andreas

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between the self-declared risk aversion of private investors and their propensity to hold incomplete portfolios of financial assets. The analysis is based on household survey data from the German Socioeconomic Panel (SOEP) that provides a reliable measure of individual attitudes toward financial risk. Our findings suggest that more risk averse households tend to hold incomplete portfolios consisting mainly of a few risk-free assets. We also find that the propensity to acquire additional assets is highly dependent on whether liquidity and safety needs are met.

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  • Barasinska, Nataliya & Schäfer, Dorothea & Stephan, Andreas, 2012. "Individual risk attitudes and the composition of financial portfolios: Evidence from German household portfolios," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 1-14.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:quaeco:v:52:y:2012:i:1:p:1-14
    DOI: 10.1016/j.qref.2011.10.001
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    2. Mohammad Tariqul Islam Khan & Siow-Hooi Tan, 2019. "Stated Preferences for Firm’s Characteristics and Asset Allocation Decisions," Global Business Review, International Management Institute, vol. 20(4), pages 839-855, August.
    3. Eva M. Sierminska & Jacques Silber, 2020. "The diversity of household assets holdings in the United States in 2007 and 2009: measurement and determinants," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 599-634, September.
    4. Saruultuya Tsendsuren & Chu-Shiu Li & Sheng-Chang Peng & Wing-Keung Wong, 2018. "The Effects of Health Status on Life Insurance Holdings in 16 European Countries," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(10), pages 1-30, September.
    5. Betül Çal & Mary Lambkin, 2017. "Brand equity of stock exchange as a mediator in financial decisions," Journal of Financial Services Marketing, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 22(1), pages 14-23, March.
    6. Bauer, Michal & Chytilová, Julie & Miguel, Edward, 2020. "Using survey questions to measure preferences: Lessons from an experimental validation in Kenya," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    7. Sofia Vale & Francisco Camões, 2017. "Housing valuation, wealth perception, and households’ portfolio composition," EcoMod2017 10565, EcoMod.
    8. León, Anja Köbrich & Pfeifer, Christian, 2017. "Religious activity, risk-taking preferences and financial behaviour: Empirical evidence from German survey data," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 99-107.
    9. Brown, Sarah & Gray, Daniel & Harris, Mark N. & Spencer, Christopher, 2016. "Portfolio Allocation, Income Uncertainty and Households' Flight from Risk," IZA Discussion Papers 10408, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Becker, Gideon, 2014. "The portfolio structure of German households: A multinomial fractional response approach with unobserved heterogeneity," University of Tübingen Working Papers in Business and Economics 74, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, School of Business and Economics.
    11. Francisco Camões & Sofia Vale, 2018. "Housing Valuation, Wealth Perception, and Homeowners’ Portfolio Composition," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 494-508, September.
    12. Vu, Thi-Hong-Phuong & Li, Chu-Shiu & Liu, Chwen-Chi, 2021. "Effects of the financial crisis on household financial risky assets holdings: Empirical evidence from Europe," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 342-358.
    13. Hyll, Walter & Irrek, Maike, 2015. "The Impact of Risk Attitudes on Financial Investments," IWH Discussion Papers 10/2015, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Private households; Portfolio diversification; Risk aversion;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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