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Mean-variance econometric analysis of household portfolios

  • Raffaele Miniaci

    (Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Universita di Brescia, Brescia, Italy)

  • Sergio Pastorello

    (Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Universita di Bologna, Bologna, Italy)

We investigate households' portfolio choice using a microeconometric approach derived from mean-variance optimization. We assume that households have heterogeneous expectations on the distribution of excess returns and that they cannot take short positions in risky assets. Assuming two such assets, we derive an explicit solution of the model characterized by four possible portfolio regimes, which are analyzed using two structural probit and tobit specifications with three latent state variables. Both specifications are estimated by weighted maximum likelihood on a cross-section of US households drawn from the 2004 SCF. The tobit specification is simulated in order to evaluate the regressors' effects on regime probabilities and asset demands. We also assess to what extent the predicted state variables are consistent with the self-reported expected returns and risk aversion elicited from the SCF questionnaire. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 25 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 481-504

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Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:25:y:2010:i:3:p:481-504
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