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Household wealth, portfolio selection and consumption behavior

  • P.-O. BEFFY

    (Insee)

  • B. MONFORT

    (Insee)

Registered author(s):

    In the past twenty years, household wealth undergoes profound changes and in particular a notable increase of the share of financial wealth. The hike of stock market prices in the late 1990s, the burst of the speculative bubble since the summer of 2000 and the continued upsurge of housing prices lead to important swings of the value of household wealth. These large changes raise a number of issues concerning their consequences, both real - in terms of consumption and savings - and financial - in terms of portfolio selection. This article studies the break up of wealth between different assets (portfolio choice theory) and the impact of aggregate wealth on consumption (wealth effect), taking into account population ageing. The age of consumers indeed influences both the level of their savings (life-cycle theory) and their investment horizon (short vs. long-run). We should expect that older households, on average, would lean towards more liquid assets as their remaining life span is narrowing. The share of housing wealth in aggregate wealth should decrease. Population aging should also lead to an increase of the aggregate saving rate for at least the coming twenty years.

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    File URL: http://www.insee.fr/fr/publications-et-services/docs_doc_travail/G2003-08.pdf
    File Function: Document de travail de la DESE numéro G2003-08
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    Paper provided by Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, DESE in its series Documents de Travail de la DESE - Working Papers of the DESE with number g2003-08.

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    Date of creation: 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:crs:wpdeee:g2003-08
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    1. Case, Karl E. & Quigley, John M. & Shiller, Robert J., 2005. "Comparing Wealth Effects: The Stock Market versus the Housing Market," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt28d3s92s, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
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    14. El Mekkaoui de Freitas, Najat & Lavigne, Anne & Mahieu, Ronan, 2000. "Vieillissement et composition du patrimoine des ménages," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/3511, Paris Dauphine University.
    15. Laurence Boone & Claude Giorno & Pete Richardson, 1998. "Stock Market Fluctuations and Consumption Behaviour: Some Recent Evidence," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 208, OECD Publishing.
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    18. R. C. Merton, 1970. "Optimum Consumption and Portfolio Rules in a Continuous-time Model," Working papers 58, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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