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Does health affect portfolio choice?

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  • Paul A. Smith
  • David A. Love

Abstract

Previous studies find a strong and positive empirical connection between health status and the share of risky assets held in household portfolios. But is this relationship truly causal, in the sense that households respond to changes in health by altering their portfolio allocation, or does it simply reflect unobserved differences across households? We find that most of the variation by health is on the extensive margin of stock ownership (rather than the marginal allocation conditional on ownership), which more plausibly points to non-causal explanations. Moreover, we find that any link between health and risky assets depends crucially on the econometric treatment of unobserved heterogeneity. Once we account adequately for unobserved household differences, there is no longer a statistically significant relationship between any of our health measures and household portfolio decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul A. Smith & David A. Love, 2007. "Does health affect portfolio choice?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2007-45
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    Cited by:

    1. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2016. "Savings After Retirement: A Survey," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 8(1), pages 177-204, October.
    2. Dana Goldman & Nicole Maestas, 2013. "Medical Expenditure Risk And Household Portfolio Choice," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(4), pages 527-550, June.
    3. repec:eee:hapoch:v1_567 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Koch, Alexander K. & Nafziger, Julia, 2016. "Goals and bracketing under mental accounting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 305-351.
    5. Julien Hugonnier & Florian Pelgrin & Pascal St-Amour, 2009. "Health and (other) Asset Holdings," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 09-18, Swiss Finance Institute.
    6. Julien Hugonnier & Florian Pelgrin & Pascal St-Amour, 2010. "A structural analysis of the health expenditures and portfolio choices of retired agents," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 10-29, Swiss Finance Institute.
    7. Crainich, David & Eeckhoudt, Louis & Le Courtois, Olivier, 2017. "Health and portfolio choices: A diffidence approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 259(1), pages 273-279.
    8. Peijnenburg, J.M.J., 2011. "Consumption, savings, and investments over the life cycle," Other publications TiSEM 53507526-8619-428d-865f-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    9. Kronenberg, C. & van Kippersluis, H. & Rohde, K.I.M., 2014. "What drives the association between health and portfolio choice?," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 14/27, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    10. Adriaan Kalwij, 2015. "Two tests for strict exogeneity in a correlated random effects panel data Tobit model," Statistica Neerlandica, Netherlands Society for Statistics and Operations Research, vol. 69(2), pages 115-125, May.
    11. Julien Hugonnier & Florian Pelgrin, 2013. "Health and (Other) Asset Holdings," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 663-710.
    12. Schendel, Lorenz S., 2014. "Critical illness insurance in life cycle portfolio problems," SAFE Working Paper Series 44, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    13. repec:eee:joepsy:v:61:y:2017:i:c:p:191-202 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Maude Toussaint-Comeau & Jonathan Hartley, 2009. "Health and the savings of insured versus uninsured, working-age households in the U.S," Working Paper Series WP-09-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    15. Peijnenburg, J.M.J. & Nijman, T.E. & Werker, B.J.M., 2010. "Health Cost Risk and Optimal Retirement Provision : A Simple Rule for Annuity Demand," Discussion Paper 2010-14, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    16. James Enright & Grant M Scobie, 2010. "Healthy, Wealthy and Working: Retirement Decisions of Older New Zealanders," Treasury Working Paper Series 10/02, New Zealand Treasury.
    17. Christian E. Weller & Jeffrey Wenger, 2010. "Easy Money? Health and 401(k) Loans," Working Papers wp231, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    18. Atella, Vincenzo & Brunetti, Marianna & Maestas, Nicole, 2012. "Household portfolio choices, health status and health care systems: A cross-country analysis based on SHARE," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1320-1335.
    19. Vicki L. Bogan & Angela R. Fertig, 2013. "Portfolio Choice and Mental Health," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 17(3), pages 955-992.
    20. Fan, Elliott & Zhao, Ruoyun, 2009. "Health status and portfolio choice: Causality or heterogeneity?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1079-1088, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Households - Economic aspects ; Portfolio management;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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