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The Role Of Risk Aversion In Predicting Individual Behavior

Listed author(s):
  • Luigi Guiso

    ()

    (Universit� degli Studi di Sassari)

  • Monica Paiella

    ()

    (Bank of Italy)

We use household survey data to construct a direct measure of absolute risk aversion based on the maximum price a consumer is willing to pay to buy a risky asset. We relate this measure to a set of consumers� decisions that in theory should vary with attitude towards risk. We find that elicited risk aversion has considerable predictive power for a number of key household decisions such as choice of occupation, portfolio selection, moving decisions and exposure to chronic diseases in ways consistent with theory. We also use this indicator to address the importance of self-selection when relating indicators of risk to individual saving decisions.

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File URL: http://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/temi-discussione/2005/2005-0546/tema_546.pdf
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Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 546.

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Date of creation: Feb 2005
Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_546_05
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  3. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2002. "Does Local Financial Development Matter?," NBER Working Papers 8923, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Robert B. Barsky & Miles S. Kimball & F. Thomas Juster & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1995. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 5213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Rabin, Matthew, 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt731230f8, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  6. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
  7. Paul A. Samuelson, 2011. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection by Dynamic Stochastic Programming," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: THE KELLY CAPITAL GROWTH INVESTMENT CRITERION THEORY and PRACTICE, chapter 31, pages 465-472 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  8. Robert B. Barsky & F. Thomas Juster & Miles S. Kimball & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-579.
  9. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1992. "Earnings Uncertainty and Precautionary Saving," CEPR Discussion Papers 699, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1994. "Income Risk, Borrowing Constraints and Portfolio Choice," CEPR Discussion Papers 888, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Christopher D Carroll, 2000. "Portfolios of the Rich," Economics Working Paper Archive 430, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  12. Guiso, Luigi & Paiella, Monica, 2001. "Risk Aversion, Wealth and Background Risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 2728, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. M. Fatih Guvenen, 2002. "Reconciling Conflicting Evidence on the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution: A Macroeconomic Perspective," RCER Working Papers 491, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER), revised Mar 2003.
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  15. Kimball, Miles S, 1993. "Standard Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 589-611, May.
  16. Merton, Robert C, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection under Uncertainty: The Continuous-Time Case," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 247-257, August.
  17. Jonathan S. Skinner, 1987. "Risky Income, Life Cycle Consumption, and Precautionary Savings," NBER Working Papers 2336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  19. Heaton, John & Lucas, Deborah, 2000. "Portfolio Choice in the Presence of Background Risk," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 1-26, January.
  20. Pratt, John W & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1987. "Proper Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 143-154, January.
  21. Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli, 2000. "Household Portfolios in Italy," CSEF Working Papers 43, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  22. Francesco Daveri & Riccardo Faini, "undated". "Where do migrants go?," Working Papers 124, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  23. DREZE, Jacques H. & MODIGLIANI, Franco, "undated". "Cosumption decisions under uncertainty," CORE Discussion Papers RP 119, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  24. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2002. "An Empirical Analysis of Earnings and Employment Risk," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(2), pages 241-253, April.
  25. Brunello, Giorgio, 2002. "Absolute risk aversion and the returns to education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 635-640, December.
  26. Hartog, Joop & Vijverberg, Wim P., 2002. "Do Wages Really Compensate for Risk Aversion and Skewness Affection?," IZA Discussion Papers 426, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  27. Miles S. Kimball, 1991. "Precautionary Motives for Holding Assets," NBER Working Papers 3586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-827, August.
  29. Breeden, Douglas T., 1979. "An intertemporal asset pricing model with stochastic consumption and investment opportunities," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 265-296, September.
  30. Renate Schubert, 1999. "Financial Decision-Making: Are Women Really More Risk-Averse?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 381-385, May.
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