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Rational Inattention, Long-run Consumption Risk, and Portfolio Choice


  • Yulei Luo

    (University of Hong Kong)


This paper explores how the introduction of rational inattention (RI) -- that agents process information subject to finite channel capacity -- affects optimal consumption and investment decisions in an otherwise standard intertemporal model of portfolio choice. We first explicitly derive optimal consumption and portfolio rules under RI and then show that introducing RI reduces the optimal share of savings invested in the risky asset because inattentive investors face greater long-run consumption risk. We also show that the investment horizon matters for portfolio allocation in the presence of RI, even if investment opportunities are constant and the utility function of investors is constant relative risk aversion. Second, after aggregating across investors, we show that introducing RI can better explain the observed joint dynamics of aggregate consumption and the equity return. Finally, we show that RI increases the implied equity premium because investors under RI face greater long-run consumption risk and thus require higher compensation in equilibrium. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Yulei Luo, 2010. "Rational Inattention, Long-run Consumption Risk, and Portfolio Choice," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(4), pages 843-860, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:08-115
    DOI: 10.1016/

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sims, Christopher A., 2005. "Rational inattention: a research agenda," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,34, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    2. repec:oup:restud:v:82:y:2015:i:4:p:1502-1532. is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jonathan A. Parker, 2003. "Consumption Risk and Expected Stock Returns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 376-382, May.
    4. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2002. "The 6D Bias and the Equity-Premium Puzzle," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 257-330 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Bartosz Maćkowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2015. "Business Cycle Dynamics under Rational Inattention," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(4), pages 1502-1532.
    6. Karen E. Dynan & Dean M. Maki, 2001. "Does stock market wealth matter for consumption?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-23, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Martha Starr-McCluer, 2002. "Stock Market Wealth and Consumer Spending," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(1), pages 69-79, January.
    8. Laura Veldkamp & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2005. "Information Acquisition and Portfolio Underdiversification," 2005 Meeting Papers 77, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yulei Luo & Eric R. Young, 2016. "Long‐Run Consumption Risk and Asset Allocation under Recursive Utility and Rational Inattention," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 48(2-3), pages 325-362, March.
    2. Luo, Yulei & Nie, Jun & Wang, Gaowang & Young, Eric, 2014. "What We Don't Know Doesn't Hurt Us: Rational Inattention and the Permanent Income Hypothesis in General Equilibrium," MPRA Paper 59182, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Luo, Yulei & Nie, Jun & Young, Eric R., 2014. "Robust control, informational frictions, and international consumption correlations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 1-27.
    4. Batchuluun, Altantsetseg & Luo, Yulei & Young, Eric, 2014. "Portfolio Choice with Information-Processing Limits," MPRA Paper 58538, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Luo, Yulei & Nie, Jun & Wang, Gaowang & Young, Eric R., 2017. "Rational inattention and the dynamics of consumption and wealth in general equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 55-87.
    6. Luo, Yulei & Young, Eric, 2013. "Rational Inattention in Macroeconomics: A Survey," MPRA Paper 54267, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Yulei Luo & Eric R. Young, 2014. "Signal Extraction And Rational Inattention," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(2), pages 811-829, April.

    More about this item


    Rational inattention; Long-run consumption risk; Long-term portfolio choice; Aggregate consumption;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions


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