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Stability of risk preference

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  • Claudia R. Sahm

Abstract

Stability of preferences is central to how economists study behavior. This paper uses panel data on hypothetical gambles over lifetime income in the Health and Retirement Study to quantify changes in risk tolerance over time and differences across individuals. The maximum-likelihood estimation of a correlated random effects model utilizes information from 12,000 respondents in the 1992-2002 HRS. The results support constant relative risk aversion and career selection on preferences. While risk tolerance changes with age and macroeconomic conditions, persistent differences across individuals account for 73% of the systematic variation. The measure of risk tolerance also relates to actual stock ownership.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudia R. Sahm, 2007. "Stability of risk preference," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-66, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2007-66
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert B. Barsky & Miles S. Kimball & F. Thomas Juster & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1995. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 5213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    4. Kimball, Miles S & Sahm, Claudia R & Shapiro, Matthew D, 2008. "Imputing Risk Tolerance From Survey Responses," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(483), pages 1028-1038.
    5. Bronwyn Hall & Jacques Mairesse & Laure Turner, 2007. "Identifying Age, Cohort, And Period Effects In Scientific Research Productivity: Discussion And Illustration Using Simulated And Actual Data On French Physicists," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 159-177.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel J. Benjamin & James J. Choi & Geoffrey Fisher, 2016. "Religious Identity and Economic Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 617-637, October.
    2. Luc Arrondel & André Masson, 2013. "Measuring savers' preferences how and why?," PSE Working Papers halshs-00834203, HAL.
    3. Audrey Light & Taehyun Ahn, 2010. "Divorce as risky behavior," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 47(4), pages 895-921, November.
    4. Daniel J. Benjamin & James J. Choi & A. Joshua Strickland, 2010. "Social Identity and Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1913-1928, September.
    5. Ulrike Malmendier & Stefan Nagel, 2011. "Depression Babies: Do Macroeconomic Experiences Affect Risk Taking?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 373-416.
    6. Luc Arrondel, 2013. "Are “daddy’s boys” just as rich as daddy? The transmission of values between generations," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 11(4), pages 439-471, December.
    7. Kimball, Miles S & Sahm, Claudia R & Shapiro, Matthew D, 2008. "Imputing Risk Tolerance From Survey Responses," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(483), pages 1028-1038.
    8. repec:eee:joecag:v:7:y:2016:i:c:p:64-68 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Risk-taking (Psychology) ; Risk;

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