IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Portfolio Choice with Illiquid Assets


  • Andrew Ang

    () (Columbia University, New York, New York 10027; and National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138)

  • Dimitris Papanikolaou

    () (Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208; and National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138)

  • Mark M. Westerfield

    () (Foster School of Business, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195)


We present a model of optimal allocation to liquid and illiquid assets, where illiquidity risk results from the restriction that an asset cannot be traded for intervals of uncertain duration. Illiquidity risk leads to increased and state-dependent risk aversion and reduces the allocation to both liquid and illiquid risky assets. Uncertainty about the length of the illiquidity interval, as opposed to a deterministic nontrading interval, is a primary determinant of the cost of illiquidity. We allow market liquidity to vary from “normal” periods, when all assets are fully liquid, to “illiquidity crises,” when some assets can only be traded infrequently. The possibility of a liquidity crisis leads to limited arbitrage in normal times. Investors are willing to forgo 2% of their wealth to hedge against illiquidity crises occurring once every 10 years. This paper was accepted by Itay Goldstein, finance.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Ang & Dimitris Papanikolaou & Mark M. Westerfield, 2014. "Portfolio Choice with Illiquid Assets," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(11), pages 2737-2761, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:60:y:2014:i:11:p:2737-2761

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fehrler, Sebastian & Kosfeld, Michael, 2014. "Pro-social missions and worker motivation: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 99-110.
    2. Gregg, Paul & Grout, Paul A. & Ratcliffe, Anita & Smith, Sarah & Windmeijer, Frank, 2011. "How important is pro-social behaviour in the delivery of public services?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 758-766, August.
    3. Gary Charness & Ramon Cobo-Reyes & Natalia Jimenez & Juan A. Lacomba & Francisco Lagos, 2012. "The Hidden Advantage of Delegation: Pareto Improvements in a Gift Exchange Game," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2358-2379, August.
    4. Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2005. "Social Preferences and the Response to Incentives: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 917-962.
    5. Johannes Abeler & Armin Falk & Lorenz Goette & David Huffman, 2011. "Reference Points and Effort Provision," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 470-492, April.
    6. Francois, Patrick, 2000. "'Public service motivation' as an argument for government provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 275-299, November.
    7. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2005. "Competition and Incentives with Motivated Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 616-636, June.
    8. Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2009. "Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 544-555, March.
    9. Andreas Fuster & Stephan Meier, 2010. "Another Hidden Cost of Incentives: The Detrimental Effect on Norm Enforcement," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(1), pages 57-70, January.
    10. Tonin, Mirco & Vlassopoulos, Michael, 2017. "Sharing one’s fortune? An experimental study on earned income and giving," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 112-118.
    11. Delfgaauw, Josse & Dur, Robert, 2007. "Signaling and screening of workers' motivation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 605-624, April.
    12. Dean Karlan & John A. List, 2007. "Does Price Matter in Charitable Giving? Evidence from a Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1774-1793, December.
    13. Tonin, Mirco & Vlassopoulos, Michael, 2010. "Disentangling the sources of pro-socially motivated effort: A field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 1086-1092, December.
    14. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
    15. Armin Falk & Andrea Ichino, 2006. "Clean Evidence on Peer Effects," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 39-58, January.
    16. Huck, Steffen & Rasul, Imran, 2011. "Matched fundraising: Evidence from a natural field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5-6), pages 351-362, June.
    17. Steffen Altmann & Armin Falk & Matthias Wibral, 2012. "Promotions and Incentives: The Case of Multistage Elimination Tournaments," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 149-174.
    18. Hannes Koppel & Tobias Regner, 2011. "Corporate Social Responsibility in the work place - Experimental evidence on CSR from a gift-exchange game," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-030, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    19. Canice Prendergast, 2007. "The Motivation and Bias of Bureaucrats," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 180-196, March.
    20. Blair Cleave & Nikos Nikiforakis & Robert Slonim, 2013. "Is there selection bias in laboratory experiments? The case of social and risk preferences," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(3), pages 372-382, September.
    21. Brekke, Kjell Arne & Nyborg, Karine, 2008. "Attracting responsible employees: Green production as labor market screening," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 509-526, December.
    22. Linardi, Sera & McConnell, Margaret A., 2011. "No excuses for good behavior: Volunteering and the social environment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5-6), pages 445-454, June.
    23. Slonim, Robert & Wang, Carmen & Garbarino, Ellen & Merrett, Danielle, 2012. "Opting-In: Participation Biases in the Lab," IZA Discussion Papers 6865, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    24. Markus Kitzmueller & Jay Shimshack, 2012. "Economic Perspectives on Corporate Social Responsibility," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 51-84, March.
    25. Michèle Belot & Raymond Duch & Luis Miller, 2010. "Who should be called to the lab? A comprehensive comparison of students and non-students in classic experimental games," Discussion Papers 2010001, University of Oxford, Nuffield College.
    26. Bruce Shearer, 2004. "Piece Rates, Fixed Wages and Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 513-534.
    27. Ramon Casadesus-Masanell & Michael Crooke & Forest Reinhardt & Vishal Vasishth, 2009. "Households' Willingness to Pay for "Green" Goods: Evidence from Patagonia's Introduction of Organic Cotton Sportswear," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 203-233, March.
    28. Imas, Alex, 2014. "Working for the “warm glow”: On the benefits and limits of prosocial incentives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 14-18.
    29. Armin Falk & Stephan Meier & Christian Zehnder, 2013. "Do Lab Experiments Misrepresent Social Preferences? The Case Of Self-Selected Student Samples," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 839-852, August.
    30. Daniel W. Elfenbein & Brian McManus, 2010. "A Greater Price for a Greater Good? Evidence That Consumers Pay More for Charity-Linked Products," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 28-60, May.
    31. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
    32. Slonim, Robert & Wang, Carmen & Garbarino, Ellen & Merrett, Danielle, 2013. "Opting-in: Participation bias in economic experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 43-70.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Dimitri Vayanos & Jiang Wang, 2012. "Market Liquidity - Theory and Empirical Evidence," FMG Discussion Papers dp709, Financial Markets Group.
    2. Arthur Korteweg & Roman Kräussl & Patrick Verwijmeren, 2016. "Does it Pay to Invest in Art? A Selection-Corrected Returns Perspective," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 29(4), pages 1007-1038.
    3. DeLisle, R. Jared & McTier, Brian C. & Smedema, Adam R., 2016. "Systematic limited arbitrage and the cross-section of stock returns: Evidence from exchange traded funds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 118-136.
    4. Morten Sorensen & Neng Wang & Jinqiang Yang, 2014. "Valuing Private Equity," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 27(7), pages 1977-2021.
    5. Salvatore Federico & Paul Gassiat, 2012. "Viscosity characterization of the value function of an investment-consumption problem in presence of illiquid assets," Papers 1211.1286,
    6. Campanale, Claudio & Fugazza, Carolina & Gomes, Francisco, 2015. "Life-cycle portfolio choice with liquid and illiquid financial assets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 67-83.
    7. David Chambers & Elroy Dimson & Justin Foo, 2013. "Keynes, King's, and Endowment Asset Management," NBER Chapters,in: How the Financial Crisis and Great Recession Affected Higher Education, pages 127-150 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. repec:eee:intfin:v:51:y:2017:i:c:p:15-38 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Dimson, Elroy & Rousseau, Peter L. & Spaenjers, Christophe, 2015. "The price of wine," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 431-449.
    10. L. A. Bordag & I. P. Yamshchikov & D. Zhelezov, 2015. "Portfolio optimization in the case of an asset with a given liquidation time distribution," Post-Print hal-01186961, HAL.
    11. Campanale, Claudio & Fugazza, Carolina & Gomes, Francisco J, 2015. "Life-Cycle Portfolio choice with Liquid and Illiquid Assets," CEPR Discussion Papers 10369, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Dirk Broeders & Kristy Jansen & Bas Werker, 2017. "Pension fund's illiquid assets allocation under liquidity and capital constraints," DNB Working Papers 555, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    13. Buss, Adrian & Uppal, Raman & Vilkov, Grigory, 2014. "Asset prices in general equilibrium with recursive utility and illiquidity induced by transactions costs," SAFE Working Paper Series 41, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    14. Salvatore Federico & Paul Gassiat & Fausto Gozzi, 2012. "Impact of time illiquidity in a mixed market without full observation," Papers 1211.1285,, revised Mar 2015.
    15. repec:luc:wpaper:13-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. I. Halperin & A. Itkin, 2012. "Pricing Illiquid Options with $N+1$ Liquid Proxies Using Mixed Dynamic-Static Hedging," Papers 1209.3503,

    More about this item


    asset allocation; liquidity; alternative assets; liquidity crises;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates


    Access and download statistics


    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:inm:ormnsc:v:60:y:2014:i:11:p:2737-2761. 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: (Mirko Janc). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.

    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.