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Benchmarks in Aggregate Household Portfolios

Listed author(s):
  • Pascal St-Amour

    (HEC University of Lausanne, HEC University of Montreal and Swiss Finance Institute)

Reference–dependent preference models assume that agents derive utility from deviations of consumption from benchmark levels, rather than from consumption levels. These references can be either backward-looking (as explicit in the Habit literature) or forward-looking (as implicitly suggested by Prospect Theory). For both cases, we specify and estimate a fully structural multi-variate Brownian system in optimal consumption, portfolio and wealth using aggregate household financial and real estate wealth data. Our results reveal that references are (i) strongly relevant, (ii) state-dependent, and (iii) that the data is more consistent with the backwardthan the forward-looking reference model.

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Paper provided by Swiss Finance Institute in its series Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series with number 07-09.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Handle: RePEc:chf:rpseri:rp0709
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