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The effect of age on portfolio choices: evidence form an Italian pension fund

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Listed:
  • Giuseppe Cappelletti

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Giovanni Guazzarotti

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Pietro Tommasino

    () (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

Optimal Portfolio Theory prescribes that investors reduce their exposure to financial market risk as they get near to retirement. To assess the effect of ageing on portfolio choices, we study the case of an Italian defined contribution pension fund during the period 2002-08. We find that on average the willingness to hold risky assets does indeed significantly decrease with age, but we also document that inertial behaviour is quite widespread, and can be very costly.

Suggested Citation

  • Giuseppe Cappelletti & Giovanni Guazzarotti & Pietro Tommasino, 2010. "The effect of age on portfolio choices: evidence form an Italian pension fund," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 768, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_768_10
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Luigi Guiso & Michael Haliassos & Tullio Jappelli, 2003. "Household stockholding in Europe: where do we stand and where do we go?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(36), pages 123-170, April.
    2. Yannis Bilias & Dimitris Georgarakos & Michael Haliassos, 2010. "Portfolio Inertia and Stock Market Fluctuations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(4), pages 715-742, June.
    3. Waldo Tapia & Juan Yermo, 2007. "Implications of Behavioural Economics for Mandatory Individual Account Pension Systems," OECD Working Papers on Insurance and Private Pensions 11, OECD Publishing.
    4. Campbell, John Y. & Viceira, Luis M., 2002. "Strategic Asset Allocation: Portfolio Choice for Long-Term Investors," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296942.
    5. Pierre‐André Chiappori & Monica Paiella, 2011. "Relative Risk Aversion Is Constant: Evidence From Panel Data," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(6), pages 1021-1052, December.
    6. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2009. "Reducing the Complexity Costs of 401(k) Participation Through Quick Enrollment," NBER Chapters,in: Developments in the Economics of Aging, pages 57-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Papke, Leslie E., 2004. "Individual financial decisions in retirement saving plans: the role of participant-direction," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 39-61, January.
    8. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Stefan Nagel, 2008. "Do Wealth Fluctuations Generate Time-Varying Risk Aversion? Micro-evidence on Individuals," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 713-736, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    pension funds; portfolio choice;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors

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