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The Life Cycle Model with Recursive Utility: New insights on optimal consumption

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  • Aase, Knut K.

    () (Dept. of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics)

Abstract

We analyze optimal consumption, including pensions, during the life time of a consumer using the life cycle model, when the consumer has recursive utility. The model framework is that of continuous-time with diffusion driven uncertainty. The relationship between substitution of consumption and risk aversion is highlighted, and clarified in the context of the life cycle model. We find the optimal consumption in closed form, and illustrate that the recursive utility consumer may prefer to smooth consumption shocks across time and states of the world. This agent consumes and invests to mitigate shocks to the economy, in situations where the conventional consumer is just myopic. This has consequences for what products the financial industry may choose to offer. The resulting model can be used to explain empirical puzzles for aggregates, indicating a plausible choice for the parameters of the utility function, for for the 'average' consumer in the context of life cycle model.

Suggested Citation

  • Aase, Knut K., 2014. "The Life Cycle Model with Recursive Utility: New insights on optimal consumption," Discussion Papers 2014/19, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science, revised 16 Oct 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhhfms:2014_019
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/11250/2380446
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Aase, Knut K., 2014. "Life Insurance and Pension Contracts I: The Time Additive Life Cycle Model," Discussion Papers 2014/13, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
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    13. Paul A. Samuelson, 2011. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection by Dynamic Stochastic Programming," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: THE KELLY CAPITAL GROWTH INVESTMENT CRITERION THEORY and PRACTICE, chapter 31, pages 465-472 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    The life cycle model; recursive utility; consumption smoothing; consumption puzzles; the stochastic maximum principle; the equity premium puzzle; pension and life insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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