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How Large is the Stock Component of Human Capital?

Author

Listed:
  • Mark Huggett

    (Georgetown University)

  • Greg Kaplan

    (Princeton University)

Abstract

This paper examines the value of an individual's human capital and the associated return on human capital using U.S. data on male earnings and financial asset returns. We measure the size of the stock component of human capital and assess the implications for life-cycle portfolio decisions. We find that (1) the value of human capital is far below the value implied by discounting earnings at the risk-free rate and (2) the stock component of the value of human capital is smaller than the bond component at all ages and typically averages less than 35 percent of the value of human capital. Data properties that increase the stock component of the value of human capital also act to lower the stock share held in financial wealth. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Huggett & Greg Kaplan, 2016. "How Large is the Stock Component of Human Capital?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 22, pages 21-51, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:14-173
    DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2016.06.002
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    Cited by:

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    2. Christopher Busch & David Domeij & Fatih Guvenen & Rocio Madera, 2022. "Skewed Idiosyncratic Income Risk over the Business Cycle: Sources and Insurance," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 207-242, April.
    3. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri & Gianluca Violante, 2020. "The Rise of US Earnings Inequality: Does the Cycle Drive the Trend?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 37, pages 181-204, August.
    4. Dejanir Silva & Robert Townsend, 2018. "Risk-taking over the Life Cycle: Aggregate and Distributive Implications of Entrepreneurial Risk," 2018 Meeting Papers 1318, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Sadegh Eshaghnia & James J. Heckman & Rasmus Landersø & Rafeh Qureshi, 2022. "Intergenerational Transmission of Family Influence," NBER Working Papers 30412, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Jan Voelzke & Jeanne Diesteldorf & Fabian Goessling & Till Weigt, 2017. "Investors' favourite - A different look at valuing individual labour income," CQE Working Papers 6017, Center for Quantitative Economics (CQE), University of Muenster.
    7. Yongsung Chang & Jay Hong & Marios Karabarbounis & Yicheng Wang & Tao Zhang, 2022. "Income Volatility and Portfolio Choices," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 44, pages 65-90, April.
    8. Joseph Kopecky & Alan M. Taylor, 2020. "The Murder-Suicide of the Rentier: Population Aging and the Risk Premium," NBER Working Papers 26943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Brant Abbott & Giovanni Gallipoli, 2022. "Permanent‐income inequality," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 13(3), pages 1023-1060, July.
    10. Voelzke, Jan & Gößling, Fabian & Diesteldorf, Jeanne & Weigt, Till, 2017. "Investors' favourite - A different look at valuing individual labour income," VfS Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168065, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. Robert Östling & Erik Lindqvist & David Cesarini & Joseph Briggs, 2016. "Wealth, Portfolio Allocations, and Risk Preference," 2016 Meeting Papers 1089, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Chen, Guodong & Lee, Minjoon & Nam, Tong-yob, 2020. "Forced retirement risk and portfolio choice," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 293-315.
    13. Adam Pigoń, 2022. "A Simple Model of Educated Hand-to-Mouth Consumers," Gospodarka Narodowa. The Polish Journal of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 2, pages 20-43.
    14. Kartik Athreya & Felicia Ionescu & Urvi Neelakantan, . "Stock Market Participation: The Role of Human Capital," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Kartik B. Athreya & Felicia Ionescu & Urvi Neelakantan, 2015. "Stock Market Investment: The Role of Human Capital," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-65, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    16. Cho, Yunho & Morley, James & Singh, Aarti, 2019. "Marginal propensities to consume before and after the Great Recession," Working Papers 2019-11, University of Sydney, School of Economics, revised Sep 2021.
    17. Xiao Dai & Liang Yan, 2020. "The Spatial Correlation and Explanation of the Evolution of China’s Regional Human Capital Structure—Based on Network Analysis Method," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(1), pages 1-20, December.
    18. Brant Abbott & Giovanni Gallipoli, 2018. "Human Capital Inequality: Empirical Evidence," Working Papers 2018-085, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Value of human capital; Idiosyncratic and aggregate risk; Incomplete markets;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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