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Do wealth fluctuations generate time-varying risk aversion? Italian micro-evidence on household asset allocation

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  • Giuseppe Cappelletti

    () (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

Data from the Italian Survey of Households Income and Wealth (SHIW) are used to study portfolio allocations change in response to fluctuations in wealth. In particular I test for the prediction of models with habit formation that changes in liquid wealth will affect households' risk aversion and risky asset investment. After controlling for the decision to enter and leave the risky asset market, I find, in contrast with other studies (Brunnermeier and Nagel, 2008 and Chiappori and Paiella, 2008), that changes in wealth do help to explain changes in asset allocation.

Suggested Citation

  • Giuseppe Cappelletti, 2012. "Do wealth fluctuations generate time-varying risk aversion? Italian micro-evidence on household asset allocation," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 845, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_845_12
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Grishchenko, Olesya V., 2010. "Internal vs. external habit formation: The relative importance for asset pricing," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 176-194, May.
    2. Francisco Gomes & Alexander Michaelides, 2003. "Portfolio Choice With Internal Habit Formation: A Life-Cycle Model With Uninsurable Labor Income Risk," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(4), pages 729-766, October.
    3. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By force of habit: a consumption-based explanation of aggregate stock market behavior," Working Papers 94-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    4. Ivan Faiella & Romina Gambacorta, 2007. "The Weighting Process in the SHIW," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 636, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    5. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
    6. 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, April.
    7. 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.
    8. Lawrence J. Christiano & Michele Boldrin & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2001. "Habit Persistence, Asset Returns, and the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 149-166, March.
    9. Constantinides, George M, 1990. "Habit Formation: A Resolution of the Equity Premium Puzzle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 519-543, June.
    10. Karen E. Dynan, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumer Preferences: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 391-406, June.
    11. 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.
    12. Cevdet Aydemir, A., 2008. "Risk sharing and counter-cyclical variation in market correlations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 3084-3112, October.
    13. Jessica A. Wachter & Motohiro Yogo, 2010. "Why Do Household Portfolio Shares Rise in Wealth?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(11), pages 3929-3965, November.
    14. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
    15. Leandro D�Aurizio & Ivan Faiella & Stefano Iezzi & Andrea Neri, 2006. "The under-reporting of financial wealth in the Survey on Household income and Wealth," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 610, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cappelletti, Giuseppe & Guazzarotti, Giovanni & Tommasino, Pietro, 2014. "The effect of age on portfolio choices: evidence from an Italian pension fund," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(04), pages 389-419, October.
    2. Liu, Xuan & Yang, Fang & Cai, Zongwu, 2016. "Does relative risk aversion vary with wealth? Evidence from households׳ portfolio choice data," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 229-248.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    portfolio allocation; risk aversion; habit-formation;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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