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The Forgone Gains of Incomplete Portfolios


  • Monica Paiella


This article proposes a test for the cost-based explanation of nonparticipation, by estimating a lower bound to the forgone gains of incomplete portfolios; these are in turn a lower bound to the costs that could rationalize nonparticipation in financial markets: high bounds would imply implausibly high costs. Assuming isoelastic utility and a relative risk aversion of three or less, for the stock market I estimate an average lower bound of between 0.7 and 3.3 percent of consumption. Since total annual (observable plus unobservable) participation costs are likely to exceed these bounds, the cost-based explanation is not rejected by this test. , Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Monica Paiella, 2007. "The Forgone Gains of Incomplete Portfolios," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(5), pages 1623-1646, 2007 13.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:20:y:2007:i:5:p:1623-1646

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Orazio P. Attanasio & Monica Paiella, 2011. "Intertemporal consumption choices, transaction costs and limited participation in financial markets: reconciling data and theory," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(2), pages 322-343, March.
    2. Monica Paiella & Andrea Tiseno, 2004. "Stock market optimism and participation cost: a mean-variance estimation," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 239, Econometric Society.
    3. Khorunzhina, Natalia, 2013. "Structural estimation of stock market participation costs," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 2928-2942.
    4. Guiso, Luigi & Sodini, Paolo, 2013. "Household Finance: An Emerging Field," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, Elsevier.
    5. Yannis Bilias & Dimitris Georgarakos & Michael Haliassos, 2010. "Portfolio Inertia and Stock Market Fluctuations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(4), pages 715-742, June.
    6. Paya, Ivan & Wang, Peng, 2016. "Wealth fluctuations and investment in risky assets: The UK micro evidence on households asset allocation," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(PA), pages 221-235.
    7. Sauro Mocetti, 2012. "Educational choices and the selection process: before and after compulsory schooling," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(2), pages 189-209, February.
    8. Ricardo M. Sousa, 2007. "Wealth Shocks and Risk Aversion," NIPE Working Papers 28/2007, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    9. Eduardo Corso, 2015. "Ambiguity and portfolio decisions," BCRA Working Paper Series 201567, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department.
    10. Pierre‐André Chiappori & Monica Paiella, 2011. "Relative Risk Aversion Is Constant: Evidence From Panel Data," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(6), pages 1021-1052, December.
    11. Xiong, Qizhou, 2015. "Censored Fractional Response Model: Estimating Heterogeneous Relative Risk Aversion of European Households," IWH Discussion Papers 11/2015, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    12. Francisco Gomes & Alexander Michaelides & Valery Polkovnichenko, 2009. "Optimal Savings with Taxable and Tax-Deferred Accounts," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(4), pages 718-735, October.
    13. Marco Angrisani & Michael D. Hurd & Erik Meijer, 2012. "Investment Decisions in Retirement: The Role of Subjective Expectations," Working Papers wp274, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis


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