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Learning, Ambiguity and Life-cycle Portfolio Allocation


  • Claudio Campanale

    () (University of Alicante and CeRP-Collegio Carlo Alberto, Turin)


In the present paper I develop a life-cycle portfolio choice model where agents perceive stock returns to be ambiguous and are ambiguity averse. As in Epstein and Schneider (2005) part of the ambiguity vanishes over time as a consequence of learning over observed returns. The model shows that ambiguity alone can rationalize moderate stock market participation rates and conditional shares with reasonable participation costs but has strongly counterfactual implications for conditional allocations to stocks by age and wealth. When learning is allowed, conditional shares over the life-cycle are instead aligned with the empirical evidence and patterns of stock holdings over the wealth distribution get closer to the data.

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  • Claudio Campanale, 2008. "Learning, Ambiguity and Life-cycle Portfolio Allocation," CeRP Working Papers 80, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  • Handle: RePEc:crp:wpaper:80

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The Role of Information and Social Interactions in Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 815-842.
    2. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Garrett, Daniel M., 2003. "The effects of financial education in the workplace: evidence from a survey of households," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1487-1519, August.
    3. repec:use:tkiwps:2323 is not listed on IDEAS
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    portfolio choice; life-cycle; ambiguity; learning;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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