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Intertemporal Consumption Choices, Transaction Costs and Limited Participation in Financial Markets: Reconciling Data and Theory

  • Orazio P. Attanasio

    (University College London)

  • Monica Paiella


    (Bank of Italy)

This paper builds a unifying framework based on the theory of intertemporal consumption choices that brings together the limited participation-based explanation of the C-CAPM poor empirical performance and the transaction costs-based explanation of incomplete portfolios. Using the implications of the consumption model and observed household consumption and portfolio choices, we identify the preference parameters of interest and a lower bound for the costs rationalizing non-participation in financial markets Assuming isoelastic preferences, we estimate the coefficient of relative risk aversion at 1.7 and a cost bound of 0.4 percent of non-durable consumption. Our estimate of the preference parameter is theoretically plausible and the bound sufficiently small to be likely to be exceeded by the actual total (observable and unobservable) costs of participating in financial markets.

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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 620.

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Date of creation: Apr 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_620_07
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  1. Orazio Attanasio & James Banks & Sarah Tanner, 1998. "Asset Holding and Consumption Volatility," NBER Working Papers 6567, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Gomes, Francisco J & Michaelides, Alexander, 2007. "Asset Pricing with Limited Risk Sharing and Heterogeneous Agents," CEPR Discussion Papers 6136, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Zeldes, Stephen P., 1991. "The consumption of stockholders and nonstockholders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 97-112, March.
  4. Hansen, Lars Peter & Jagannathan, Ravi, 1991. "Implications of Security Market Data for Models of Dynamic Economies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 225-62, April.
  5. Monica Paiella, 2006. "The Foregone Gains of Incomplete Portfolios," CSEF Working Papers 156, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  6. Monica Paiella, 2004. "Heterogeneity in Financial Market Participation: Appraising its Implications for the C-CAPM," Review of Finance, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 445-480.
  7. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1982. "Generalized Instrumental Variables Estimation of Nonlinear Rational Expectations Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1269-86, September.
  8. 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 247-57, August.
  9. 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.
  10. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  11. Francisco Gomes & Alexander Michaelides, 2005. "Optimal Life-Cycle Asset Allocation: Understanding the Empirical Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 869-904, 04.
  12. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
  13. Attanasio, Orazio P & Weber, Guglielmo, 1989. "Intertemporal Substitution, Risk Aversion and the Euler Equation for Consumption," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(395), pages 59-73, Supplemen.
  14. Samuelson, Paul A, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection by Dynamic Stochastic Programming," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 239-46, August.
  15. Luttmer, Erzo G J, 1996. "Asset Pricing in Economies with Frictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1439-67, November.
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