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Shortfall allowed: loss aversion and habit formation

  • Arjen Siegmann

In this paper we analyze a model of consumption and investment when preferences are loss averse around a habit level and investment yields an uncertain return. Loss aversion is the most natural way of modeling the presence of a habit as it explicitly models aversion to below-habit consumption. Existing approaches either neglect the possibility of below-habit consumption or model habit formation by dividing consumption through a habit. Confronting the traditional model using ratios with the outcome under loss aversion shows that the loss averse model yields a more natural interpretation thus appears more realistic. Starting with an analytical solution for a piecewise-linear utility function, the results are found to be robust for the more general Kahneman-Tversky formulation of the value function.

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Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department in its series WO Research Memoranda (discontinued) with number 741.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dnb:wormem:741
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  10. Gomes, Francisco J & Michaelides, Alexander, 2003. "Portfolio Choice with Internal Habit Formation: A Life-Cycle Model with Uninsurable Labour Income Risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 3868, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Detemple, Jerome B & Zapatero, Fernando, 1991. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy with Habit Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1633-57, November.
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  13. Thaler, Richard H, 1994. "Psychology and Savings Policies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 186-92, May.
  14. John Y. Campbell & John Cochrane, 1999. "Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 205-251, April.
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  17. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  18. Andrew B. Abel, 1998. "Risk Premia and Term Premia in General Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 6683, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
  20. Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley, 2001. "The Life-Cycle Model of Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
  21. Alessie, Rob & Lusardi, Annamaria, 1997. "Consumption, saving and habit formation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 103-108, August.
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  23. Aylin Seckin, 2000. "Habit Formation: A Kind of Prudence?," CIRANO Working Papers 2000s-42, CIRANO.
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