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Lifecycle Impacts of the Financial and Economic Crisis on Household Optimal Consumption, Portfolio Choice, and Labor Supply

  • Jingjing Chai
  • Raimond Maurer
  • Olivia S. Mitchell
  • Ralph Rogalla

The direct financial impact of the financial crisis has been to deal a heavy blow to investment-based pensions; many workers lost a substantial portion of their retirement saving. The financial sector implosion produced an economic crisis for the rest of the economy via high unemployment and reduced labor earnings, which reduced household contributions to Social Security and some private pensions. Our research asks which types of individuals were most affected by these dual financial and economic shocks, and it also explores how people may react by changing their consumption, saving and investment, work and retirement, and annuitization decisions. We do so with a realistically calibrated lifecycle framework allowing for time-varying investment opportunities and countercyclical risky labor income dynamics. We show that households near retirement will reduce both short- and long-term consumption, boost work effort, and defer retirement. Younger cohorts will initially reduce their work hours, consumption, saving, and equity exposure; later in life, they will work more, retire later, consume less, invest more in stocks, save more, and reduce their demand for private annuities.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17134.

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Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Chai, Jingjing, Raimond Maurer, Olivia S. Mitchell, & Ralph Rogalla. (2012). “Lifecycle Impacts of the Financial and Economic Crisis on Household Optimal Consumption, Portfolio Choice, and Labor Supply.” In Reshaping Retirement Security: Lessons from the Global Financial Crisis. Eds. R. Maurer, O.S. Mitchell, and M. Warshawsky. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 120-151.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17134
Note: AG LS
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Coile, Courtney & Diamond, Peter & Gruber, Jonathan & Jousten, Alain, 2002. "Delays in claiming social security benefits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 357-385, June.
  2. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier & Nahid Tabatabai, 2009. "What the Stock Market Decline Means for the Financial Security and Retirement Choices of the Near-Retirement Population," NBER Working Papers 15435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. Christopher D. Carroll & Wendy E. Dunn, 1997. "Unemployment Expectations, Jumping (S,s) Triggers, and Household Balance Sheets," NBER Working Papers 6081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Pascal St-Amour & Stephen Gordon, 2000. "A Preference Regime Model of Bull and Bear Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1019-1033, September.
  12. Olivia S. Mitchell & John W.R. Phillips, 2006. "Social Security Replacement Rates for Alternative Earnings Benchmarks," Working Papers wp116, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  13. Andrew Ang & Geert Bekaert, 2002. "International Asset Allocation With Regime Shifts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(4), pages 1137-1187.
  14. Jingjing Chai & Wolfram Horneff & Raimond Maurer & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2009. "Extending Life Cycle Models of Optimal Portfolio Choice: Integrating Flexible Work, Endogenous Retirement, and Investment Decisions with Lifetime Payouts," NBER Working Papers 15079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Michael D. Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2010. "The Effects of the Economic Crisis on the Older Population," Working Papers wp231, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
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  17. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris I. Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2004. "Cyclical Dynamics in Idiosyncratic Labor Market Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 695-717, June.
  18. Joao F. Cocco, 2005. "Consumption and Portfolio Choice over the Life Cycle," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(2), pages 491-533.
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