IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Health and (other) Asset Holdings

  • Julien Hugonnier

    (University of Lausanne and Swiss Finance Institute)

  • Florian Pelgrin

    (University of Lausanne and CIRANO)

  • Pascal St-Amour

    (University of Lausanne, Swiss Finance Institute, CIRANO and CIRPEE)

The empirical literature on the asset allocation and medical expenditures of U.S. households consistently shows that risky portfolio shares are increasing in both wealth and health whereas health investment shares are decreasing in these same variables. Despite this evidence, most of the existing models treat financial and health-related choices separately. This paper bridges this gap by proposing a tractable framework for the joint determination of optimal consumption, portfolio and health investments. We solve for the optimal rules in closed form and show that the model can theoretically reproduce the empirical facts. Capitalizing on this closed-form solution, we perform a structural estimation of the model on HRS data. Our parameter estimates are reasonable and confirm the relevance of all the main characteristics of the model.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Swiss Finance Institute in its series Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series with number 09-18.

in new window

Length: 68 pages
Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:chf:rpseri:rp0918
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Hugo Benitez-Silva & Huan Ni, 2005. "Health Status and Health Dynamics in an Empirical Model of Expected Longevity," Department of Economics Working Papers 05-14, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
  2. Picone, Gabriel & Uribe, Martin & Mark Wilson, R., 1998. "The effect of uncertainty on the demand for medical care, health capital and wealth," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 171-185, April.
  3. Kreps, David M. & Porteus, Evan L., 1979. "Temporal von neumann-morgenstern and induced preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 81-109, February.
  4. Berkowitz, Michael K. & Qiu, Jiaping, 2006. "A further look at household portfolio choice and health status," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1201-1217, April.
  5. Michael Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2004. "The Retirement-Consumption Puzzle: Anticipated and Actual Declines in Spending at Retirement," Working Papers wp069, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  6. Hayashi, Fumio, 1982. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average q: A Neoclassical Interpretation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 213-24, January.
  7. Peter Zweifel & Stefan Felder & Andreas Werblow, 2004. "Population Ageing and Health Care Expenditure: New Evidence on the "Red Herring"," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance, The International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics, vol. 29(4), pages 652-666, October.
  8. Michaud, P.C. & van Soest, A.H.O., 2004. "Health and Wealth of Elderly Couples : Causality Tests Using Dynamic Panel Data Models," Discussion Paper 2004-81, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  9. Enrico Saltari & Davide Ticchi, 2002. "Risk aversion, intertemporal substitution, and the aggregate investment-uncertainty relationship," Working Papers 69, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
  10. Engelhardt, Gary V. & Kumar, Anil, 2008. "The elasticity of intertemporal substitution: new evidence from 401(k) participation," Working Papers 0812, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  11. Abel, Andrew B & Eberly, Janice C, 1994. "A Unified Model of Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1369-84, December.
  12. Kochar, Anjini, 2004. "Ill-health, savings and portfolio choices in developing economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 257-285, February.
  13. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1989. "Portfolio choice with non-expected utility in continuous time," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 313-317, October.
  14. Phillippe Weil, 1997. "The Equity Premium Puzzle and the Risk-Free Rate Puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1833, David K. Levine.
  15. Crossley, Thomas F. & Kennedy, Steven, 2002. "The reliability of self-assessed health status," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 643-658, July.
  16. Jonathan Meer & Douglas L. Miller & Harvey S. Rosen, 2003. "Exploring the Health-Wealth Nexus," NBER Working Papers 9554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. 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.
  18. Merton, Robert C., 1971. "Optimum consumption and portfolio rules in a continuous-time model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 373-413, December.
  19. Maurice Obstfeld, 1992. "Risk-taking, global diversification, and growth," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 61, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  20. Menahem E. Yaari, 1965. "Uncertain Lifetime, Life Insurance, and the Theory of the Consumer," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 137-150.
  21. Motohiro Yogo, 2009. "Portfolio Choice in Retirement: Health Risk and the Demand for Annuities, Housing, and Risky Assets," NBER Working Papers 15307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Felder, Stefan & Meier, Markus & Schmitt, Horst, 2000. "Health care expenditure in the last months of life," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 679-695, September.
  23. Eric French, 2004. "The Effects of Health, Wealth and Wages on Labor Supply and Retirement Behavior," 2004 Meeting Papers 96, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  24. Kogan, Leonid, 2001. "An equilibrium model of irreversible investment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 201-245, November.
  25. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1996. "Income Risk, Borrowing Constraints, and Portfolio Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 158-72, March.
  26. Harvey S. Rosen & Stephen Wu, 2003. "Portfolio Choice and Health Status," NBER Working Papers 9453, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Michael D. Hurd & Kathleen McGarry, 1995. "Evaluation of the Subjective Probabilities of Survival in the Health and Retirement Study," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30, pages s268-s292.
  28. Donald S. Shepard & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1984. "Survival versus Consumption," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(4), pages 423-439, April.
  29. Ehrlich, Isaac & Chuma, Hiroyuki, 1990. "A Model of the Demand for Longevity and the Value of Life Extension," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 761-82, August.
  30. Francisco Gomes & Alexander Michaelides, 2003. "Optimal life-cycle asset allocation: understanding the empirical evidence," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24900, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  31. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  32. Hurd, Michael D, 1989. "Mortality Risk and Bequests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 779-813, July.
  33. Fwu-Ranq Chang, 2002. "A Theory of Health Investment under Competing Mortality Risks," CESifo Working Paper Series 669, CESifo Group Munich.
  34. Chang, Fwu-Ranq, 1996. "Uncertainty and investment in health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 369-376, June.
  35. Lee, Chul-In, 2008. "On-the-job human capital investment and intertemporal substitution: New evidence on intertemporal substitution elasticity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 3350-3375, October.
  36. Edwards, Ryan D, 2008. "Health Risk and Portfolio Choice," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 472-485.
  37. Biederman, Daniel K. & Goenner, Cullen F., 2008. "A life-cycle approach to the intertemporal elasticity of substitution," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 481-498, March.
  38. David M. Blau, 2008. "Retirement and Consumption in a Life Cycle Model," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26, pages 35-71.
  39. Gary S. Becker & Tomas J. Philipson & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "The Quantity and Quality of Life and the Evolution of World Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 277-291, March.
  40. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
  41. Hurd, Michael D, 1987. "Savings of the Elderly and Desired Bequests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 298-312, June.
  42. David Love & Paul A. Smith, 2008. "Does Health Affect Portfolio Choice?," Department of Economics Working Papers 2008-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  43. Isaac Ehrlich & Yong Yin, 2004. "Explaining Diversities in Age-Specific Life Expectancies and Values of Life Saving: A Numerical Analysis," NBER Working Papers 10759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  44. Duffie, Darrel & Lions, Pierre-Louis, 1992. "PDE solutions of stochastic differential utility," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 577-606.
  45. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
  46. Leung, S.F., 1992. "Uncertain Lifetime, the Theory of the Consumer, and the Life Cycle Hypothesis," RCER Working Papers 323, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  47. Hakansson, Nils H, 1969. "Optimal Investment and Consumption Strategies under Risk, an Uncertain Lifetime, and Insurance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 10(3), pages 443-66, October.
  48. Sherwin Rosen, . "The Value of Changes in Life Expectancy," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 87-14, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  49. Smith, William T., 1996. "Feasibility and transversality conditions for models of portfolio choice with non-expected utility in continuous time," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 123-131, November.
  50. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  51. Richard, Scott F., 1975. "Optimal consumption, portfolio and life insurance rules for an uncertain lived individual in a continuous time model," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 187-203, June.
  52. James M. Poterba, 2001. "Demographic Structure And Asset Returns," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 565-584, November.
  53. Ehrlich, Isaac, 2000. "Uncertain lifetime, life protection, and the value of life saving," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 341-367, May.
  54. Yeung Lewis Chan & Leonid Kogan, 2002. "Catching Up with the Joneses: Heterogeneous Preferences and the Dynamics of Asset Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1255-1285, December.
  55. Bodie, Zvi & Merton, Robert C. & Samuelson, William F., 1992. "Labor supply flexibility and portfolio choice in a life cycle model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 427-449.
  56. Fan, Elliott & Zhao, Ruoyun, 2009. "Health status and portfolio choice: Causality or heterogeneity?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1079-1088, June.
  57. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 2007. "The Value of Life and the Rise in Health Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 39-72.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:chf:rpseri:rp0918. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marilyn Barja)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.