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Ignorance, Uncertainty, and Strategic Consumption-Portfolio Decisions

Author

Listed:
  • Yulei Luo
  • Jun Nie
  • Haijun Wang

Abstract

This paper constructs a recursive utility version of a canonical Merton (1971) model with uninsurable labor income and unknown income growth to study how the interaction between two types of uncertainty due to ignorance affects strategic consumption-portfolio rules and precautionary savings. Specifically, after solving the model explicitly, we theoretically and quantitatively explore (i) how these ignorance-induced uncertainties interact with intertemporal substitution, risk aversion, and the correlation between the equity return and labor income, and (ii) how they jointly affect strategic asset allocation, precautionary savings, and the equilibrium asset returns. Furthermore, we use data to test our model?s predictions on the relationship between ignorance and asset allocation and quantitatively show that the interaction between the two types of uncertainty is the key to explain the data. Finally, we find that the welfare costs of ignorance can be very large.

Suggested Citation

  • Yulei Luo & Jun Nie & Haijun Wang, 2017. "Ignorance, Uncertainty, and Strategic Consumption-Portfolio Decisions," Research Working Paper RWP 17-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkrw:rwp17-13
    DOI: 10.18651/RWP2017-13
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    File URL: https://www.kansascityfed.org/documents/7276/ignorance-pervasive-uncertainty-household-finance-nie-luo-wang_RWP17-13.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Lei, Xiaowen, 2019. "Information and Inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 184(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ignorance; Unknown Income Growth; Induced Uncertainty; Strategic Asset Allocation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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