IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Single again? Asset and portfolio changes due to widowhood shock

Listed author(s):
  • Mariacristina Rossi

    ()

    (University of Torino, CeRP-CCA and Netspar)

  • Eva Sierminska

    ()

    (CEPS/INSTEAD)

In this paper we examine the effect of widowhood on asset trajectories and portfolio composition. In many industrialized countries, close to half of households are headed by women single, divorced, separated or widowed and therefore their ability to make financial decisions is crucial for their economic well-being as well as their dependents’. Meanwhile, research has found that women tend to be less involved with the stock market and have lower financial sophistication, leaving them out of an important way of accumulating resources via investing and saving. At the same time their higher risk aversion may have sheltered them from some of the effects of the financial crisis. For a two-adult household, the portfolio structure is likely to reflect preferences of the main financial decision maker (usually the husband). When widowhood occurs it could be that singles re-optimize their decisions according to their own preferences. We test this by examining whether there is a change in the wealth portfolio for households (over 60) that have experienced the shock of becoming widowed. Our results indicate there to be an initially statistically significant effect of widowhood on wealth that differs across wealth components and is differential for women and men. The effect disappears once we control for health insurance, but re-appears several years after the shock suggesting a differential willingness to save for women and men.

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: http://www.cerp.carloalberto.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/WP_146.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy) in its series CeRP Working Papers with number 146.

as
in new window

Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2014
Handle: RePEc:crp:wpaper:146
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Via Real Collegio 30, 10024 Moncalieri (TO)

Phone: 39 011 6705040
Fax: +39 011 6705042
Web page: http://www.cerp.carloalberto.org
Email:


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. John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2003. "Wealth Accumulation and the Propensity to Plan," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1007-1047.
  2. Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bernasek, Alexandra, 1998. "Are Women More Risk Averse?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 620-630, October.
  3. GRABKA Markus & MARCUS Jan & SIERMINSKA Eva, 2013. "Wealth distribution within couples and financial decision making," LISER Working Paper Series 2013-02, LISER.
  4. Haliassos, Michael & Bertaut, Carol C, 1995. "Why Do So Few Hold Stocks?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(432), pages 1110-1129, September.
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:crp:wpaper:146. 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: (Silvia Maero)

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.