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Borrowing costs and the demand for equity over the life cycle


  • Steven J. Davis
  • Felix Kubler
  • Paul S. Willen


We construct a life-cycle model that delivers realistic behavior for both equity holdings and borrowings. The key model ingredient is a wedge between the cost of borrowing and the risk-free investment return. Borrowing can either raise or lower equity demand, depending on the cost of borrowing. A borrowing rate equal to the expected return on equity — which we show roughly matches the data — minimizes the demand for equity. Alternative models with no borrowing or limited borrowing at the risk-free rate cannot simultaneously fit empirical evidence on borrowing and equity holdings.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven J. Davis & Felix Kubler & Paul S. Willen, 2005. "Borrowing costs and the demand for equity over the life cycle," Working Papers 05-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:05-7

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    Households - Economic aspects ; Investments;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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