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