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Scenario Analysis With Recursive Utility: Dynamic Consumption Plans For Charitable Endowments

  • Stephen Satchell

    ()

  • Susan Thorp

    ()

We determine optimal consumption paths under a series of returns scenarios for charitable endowments with distinct tastes over investment risk and inter-temporal substitution. Charities typically prefer smooth consumption paths but are investment-risk tolerant. Using a recursive, Kreps-Porteus utility function, we model the optimal disbursement from an infinitely-lived charitable trust, then, allowing a general form for the returns density, we apply stochastic dominance relations to estimate income/substitution effects whereby a change in future returns influences the current consumption rate. The elasticity of intertemporal substitution rather than risk aversion is key: optimal consumption rises or falls as the elasticity diverges from one.

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File URL: http://cbe.anu.edu.au/research/papers/camawpapers/Papers/2008/Satchell_Thorp_32008.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University in its series CAMA Working Papers with number 2008-03.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2008-03
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  1. David K. Backus & Bryan R. Routledge & Stanley E. Zin, 2005. "Exotic Preferences for Macroeconomists," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 319-414 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Stephen G. Dimmock, 2012. "Background Risk and University Endowment Funds," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 789-799, August.
  13. Philippe Weil, 1990. "Nonexpected Utility in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 29-42.
  14. Jonathan Gruber, 2006. "A Tax-Based Estimate of the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution," NBER Working Papers 11945, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Alberto Giovannini & Philippe Jorion, 1989. "Time-Series Tests of a Non-Expected-Utility Model of Asset Pricing," NBER Working Papers 3195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Smith, William T., 1996. "Feasibility and transversality conditions for models of portfolio choice with non-expected utility in continuous time," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 123-131, November.
  17. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1991. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 263-86, April.
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