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Household Portfolios and Implicit Risk Preference

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  • Alessandro Bucciol

    (University of Verona, University of Amsterdam, and Netspar)

  • Raffaele Miniaci

    (University of Brescia)

Abstract

We derive the distribution of a proxy for the risk tolerance in a representative sample of U.S. households. Our measure is deduced from the willingness to bear risk as indicated by the variance of returns of each household's observed portfolio. The estimates, obtained assuming constraints on portfolio composition, show substantial heterogeneity across households. We find that risk tolerance falls with age and increases with wealth. Other variables, such as education, gender, race, and household size, do not have a significant relation to risk attitude. Our findings are robust to changes in portfolio definition, asset returns, and sample composition. © 2011 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Bucciol & Raffaele Miniaci, 2011. "Household Portfolios and Implicit Risk Preference," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1235-1250, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:93:y:2011:i:4:p:1235-1250
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    Cited by:

    1. Alessandro Bucciol & Luca Zarri, 2013. "Financial Risk Aversion and Personal Life History," Working Papers 05/2013, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    2. Patrizia Ordine & Giuseppe Rose, 2014. "Secure Job And Risky Choices? An Analysis Of State And Wealth Dependence Of Risk Aversion Using Severance Pay Allocation," Working Papers 201407, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
    3. Alessandro Bucciol & Raffaele Miniaci, 2012. "Financial Risk Aversion, Economic Crises and Past Risk Perception," Working Papers 28/2012, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    4. Berger, Allen N. & Kick, Thomas & Schaeck, Klaus, 2014. "Executive board composition and bank risk taking," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 48-65.
    5. repec:eee:ecofin:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:156-171 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Alessandro Bucciol & Raffaele Miniaci, 2011. "Household Portfolios and Risk Bearing over Age and Time," Working Papers 15/2011, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    7. Bucciol, Alessandro & Miniaci, Raffaele & Pastorello, Sergio, 2017. "Return expectations and risk aversion heterogeneity in household portfolios," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 201-219.
    8. Stamatios Tsigos & Kevin Daly, 2016. "“Fair go” for all? Wealth and Risk Aversion of Australian Households," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 274-300, September.
    9. Bucciol, Alessandro & Zarri, Luca, 2015. "The shadow of the past: Financial risk taking and negative life events," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 1-16.
    10. Diana Zigraiova, 2015. "Management Board Composition of Banking Institutions and Bank Risk-Taking: The Case of the Czech Republic," Working Papers 2015/14, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
    11. Kremslehner, Daniela & Muermann, Alexander, 2016. "Asymmetric information in automobile insurance: Evidence from driving behavior," CFS Working Paper Series 543, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    12. Daniel Ştefan Armeanu & Georgeta Vintilă & Ştefan Cristian Gherghina & Dan Cosmin Petrache, 2017. "Approaches on Correlation between Board of Directors and Risk Management in Resilient Economies," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(2), pages 1-15, January.
    13. Zhang, Bei & Chu, Rong-Wei & Nie, Jun, 2014. "Wealth distribution with state-dependent risk aversion," Research Working Paper RWP 13-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    14. Le Courtois, Olivier & Menoncin, Francesco, 2015. "Portfolio optimisation with jumps: Illustration with a pension accumulation scheme," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 127-137.
    15. Galizzi, Matteo M. & Machado, Sara R. & Miniaci, Raffaele, 2016. "Temporal stability, cross-validity, and external validity of risk preferences measures: experimental evidence from a UK representative sample," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 67554, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    16. Leif Danziger & Eliakim Katz, 2017. "Compensation for Loss of Work Income in Personal Injury Cases," CESifo Working Paper Series 6570, CESifo Group Munich.

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