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Unemployment and Portfolio Choice: Does Persistence Matter?

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  • Franziska M. Bremus
  • Vladimir Kuzin

Abstract

Households can rely on private savings or on public unemployment insurance to hedge against the risk of becoming unemployed. These hedging mechanisms are used differently across countries. In this paper, we use a life cycle model to study the effects of unemployment on the portfolio choice of households in the US and in Germany. We distinguish short- and long-term unemployment and find that, in case of short-term unemployment, unemployment insurance offsets the negative impact of unemployment risk on households’ equity holdings. When incorporating long-term unemployment, the US-equity share drops. This negative effect of unemployment is mainly driven by its high expected duration. In Germany, however, long-term unemployment does not significantly alter portfolio decisions. We show that different responses of portfolios to unemployment risk can be attributed to both differences in social security payments and different age-income profiles.

Suggested Citation

  • Franziska M. Bremus & Vladimir Kuzin, 2011. "Unemployment and Portfolio Choice: Does Persistence Matter?," IAW Discussion Papers 77, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
  • Handle: RePEc:iaw:iawdip:77
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    Cited by:

    1. Bagliano, Fabio C. & Fugazza, Carolina & Nicodano, Giovanna, 2019. "Life-cycle portfolios, unemployment and human capital loss," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 325-340.
    2. Fabio C. Bagliano & Carolina Fugazza & Giovanna Nicodano, 2017. "A Life-Cycle Model with Unemployment Traps," Working papers 041, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
    3. Bagliano, Fabio C. & Fugazza, Carolina & Nicodano, Giovanna, 2021. "Life-cycle welfare losses from rules-of-thumb asset allocation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 198(C).
    4. Branger, Nicole & Larsen, Linda Sandris & Munk, Claus, 2019. "Hedging recessions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 1-1.
    5. Philip Müller, 2016. "Poverty in Europe: Sociodemographics, Portfolios and Consumption of Wealth Poor Households," LWS Working papers 22, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    6. Sofia Vale & Francisco Camões, 2017. "Housing valuation, wealth perception, and households’ portfolio composition," EcoMod2017 10565, EcoMod.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    long-term unemployment; social security; precautionary savings labor market institutions; employment adjustment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household

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