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Subjective Measures of Risk Aversion, Fixed Costs, and Portfolio Choice

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  • Arie Kapteyn
  • Federica Teppa

Abstract

The paper investigates risk attitudes among different types of individuals. We use several different measures of risk attitudes, including questions on choices between uncertain income streams suggested by Barsky et al. (1997) and a number of ad hoc measures. As in Barsky et al. (1997) and Arrondel and Calvo-Pardo (2002), we first analyse individual variation in the risk aversion measures and explain them by background characteristics (both “objective characteristics and other subjective measures of risk preference). Next we incorporate the measured risk attitudes into a household portfolio allocation model, which explains portfolio shares, while accounting for incomplete portfolios and fixed costs. Our results show that a measure based on factor analysis of answers to a number of simple risk preference questions has the most explanatory power. The Barsky et al. (1997) measure has less explanatory power than this “a-theoretical measure. We provide a discussion of the reasons for this finding. Fixed costs turn out to provide an economically and statistically highly significant explanation for incomplete portfolios.          ÂÂ

Suggested Citation

  • Arie Kapteyn & Federica Teppa, 2009. "Subjective Measures of Risk Aversion, Fixed Costs, and Portfolio Choice," DNB Working Papers 216, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:216
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    Cited by:

    1. Necker, Sarah & Ziegelmeyer, Michael, 2016. "Household risk taking after the financial crisis," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 141-160.
    2. Menkhoff, Lukas & Sakha, Sahra, 2017. "Estimating risky behavior with multiple-item risk measures," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 59-86.
    3. Maarten C.J. van Rooij & Annamaria Lusardi & Rob J.M. Alessie, 2012. "Financial Literacy, Retirement Planning and Household Wealth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(560), pages 449-478, May.
    4. Lee, Boram & Rosenthal, Leonard & Veld, Chris & Veld-Merkoulova, Yulia, 2015. "Stock market expectations and risk aversion of individual investors," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 122-131.
    5. van Rooij, Maarten C.J. & Lusardi, Annamaria & Alessie, Rob J.M., 2011. "Financial literacy and retirement planning in the Netherlands," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 593-608, August.
    6. Luc Arrondel & André Masson, 2013. "Measuring savers' preferences how and why?," PSE Working Papers halshs-00834203, HAL.
    7. Annamaria Lusardi & Pierre-Carl Michaud & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2017. "Optimal Financial Knowledge and Wealth Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(2), pages 431-477.
    8. Jansen, Anika & Pfeifer, Harald & Raecke, Julia, "undated". "Only the brave? Risk and time preferences of decision makers and firms’ investment in worker training," Research Memorandum 004, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    9. Luc Arrondel & André Masson, 2013. "Measuring savers' preferences how and why?," Working Papers halshs-00834203, HAL.
    10. repec:eee:joepsy:v:62:y:2017:i:c:p:186-203 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Salamanca Acosta, N. & de Grip, A. & Fouarge, D. & Montizaan, R.M., 2013. "Locus of control and investment in risky assets," ROA Research Memorandum 016, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    12. repec:bla:acctfi:v:57:y:2017:i:3:p:759-788 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:dau:papers:123456789/9827 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Gathergood, John, 2012. "Self-control, financial literacy and consumer over-indebtedness," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 590-602.
    15. Hyll, Walter & Irrek, Maike, 2015. "The Impact of Risk Attitudes on Financial Investments," IWH Discussion Papers 10/2015, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    16. Gandelman, Néstor & Hernández-Murillo, Rubén, 2013. "What do happiness and health satisfaction data tell us about relative risk aversion?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 301-312.
    17. Hoffmann, Arvid O.I. & Post, Thomas & Pennings, Joost M.E., 2013. "Individual investor perceptions and behavior during the financial crisis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 60-74.
    18. Gandelman, Nestor & Hernandez-Murillo, Ruben, 2015. "Risk Aversion at the Country Level," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 97(1), pages 53-66.
    19. Thomas Post & Helmut Gründl & Joan T. Schmit & Anja Zimmer, 2014. "The Impact of Investment Behaviour for Individual Welfare," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 81(321), pages 15-47, January.
    20. Merkle, Christoph & Weber, Martin, 2014. "Do investors put their money where their mouth is? Stock market expectations and investing behavior," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 372-386.
    21. Federica Teppa & Maarten van Rooij, 2012. "Are Retirement Decisions Vulnerable to Framing Effects? Empirical Evidence from NL and the US," DNB Working Papers 366, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    22. J. François Outreville, 2015. "The Relationship Between Relative Risk Aversion And The Level Of Education: A Survey And Implications For The Demand For Life Insurance," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(1), pages 97-111, February.
    23. Alserda, G.A.G., 2017. "Measuring Normative Risk Preferences," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2017-003-F&A, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    24. repec:mea:meawpa:14279 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risk Aversion; Portfolio Choice; Subjective Measures; Econometric Models; Fixed ÂÂ Costs.;

    JEL classification:

    • C5 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling
    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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