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Financial Risk Aversion and Household Asset Diversification

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  • Barasinska, Nataliya

    () (DIW Berlin)

  • Schäfer, Dorothea

    (DIW Berlin)

  • Stephan, Andreas

    (CESIS and JIBS)

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between risk attitude and asset diversifcation in household portfolios. We first examine the impact of manifested risk aversion on the total number of distinct assets held in a portfolio (naive diversification). The second part of the paper focuses on a more sophisticated strategy of diversification and asks whether financial theory is compatible with observed diversification patterns. Based on the German Socioeconomic Panel which provides unique measures of individual propensity for taking risk, the results of the regression analysis show that, along with some socioeconomic characteristics, the propensity for taking investment risk is an important predictor of a household's diversification strategy. However, some of our findings are strongly at odds with what the concept of mean-variance utility suggests.

Suggested Citation

  • Barasinska, Nataliya & Schäfer, Dorothea & Stephan, Andreas, 2008. "Financial Risk Aversion and Household Asset Diversification," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 137, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:cesisp:0137
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    Cited by:

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    2. Andrew C. Worthington, 2009. "Household Asset Portfolio Diversification: Evidence from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey," Discussion Papers in Finance finance:200908, Griffith University, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics.
    3. Raman Uppal & Harjoat Bhamra, 2016. "Do Individual Behavioral Biases Affect Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy?," 2016 Meeting Papers 1358, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    household finances; diversification; financial portfolio;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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