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Ambiguity Aversion and Household Portfolio Choice: Empirical Evidence

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Listed:
  • Stephen G. Dimmock
  • Roy Kouwenberg
  • Olivia S. Mitchell
  • Kim Peijnenburg

Abstract

We test the relation between ambiguity aversion and five household portfolio choice puzzles: non- participation, low allocations to equity, home-bias, own-company stock ownership, and portfolio under- diversification. In a representative U.S. household survey, we measure ambiguity aversion using custom- designed questions based on Ellsberg urns. As theory predicts, ambiguity aversion is negatively associated with stock market participation, the fraction of financial assets in stocks, and foreign stock ownership, but positively related to own-company stock ownership. Conditional on stock ownership, ambiguity aversion is related to portfolio under-diversification, and during the financial crisis, ambiguity-averse respondents were more likely to sell stocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen G. Dimmock & Roy Kouwenberg & Olivia S. Mitchell & Kim Peijnenburg, 2013. "Ambiguity Aversion and Household Portfolio Choice: Empirical Evidence," NBER Working Papers 18743, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18743 Note: AG LS
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2008. "Trusting the Stock Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(6), pages 2557-2600, December.
    2. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Aurelien Baillon & Laetitia Placido & Peter P. Wakker, 2011. "The Rich Domain of Uncertainty: Source Functions and Their Experimental Implementation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 695-723, April.
    3. Craig R. Fox & Amos Tversky, 1995. "Ambiguity Aversion and Comparative Ignorance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 585-603.
    4. Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2011. "Financial literacy around the world: an overview," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(04), pages 497-508, October.
    5. Peter Bossaerts & Paolo Ghirardato & Serena Guarnaschelli & William R. Zame, 2010. "Ambiguity in Asset Markets: Theory and Experiment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(4), pages 1325-1359, April.
    6. Stephen G. Dimmock & Roy Kouwenberg & Peter P. Wakker, 2016. "Ambiguity Attitudes in a Large Representative Sample," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(5), pages 1363-1380, May.
    7. Gilboa, Itzhak, 1987. "Expected utility with purely subjective non-additive probabilities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 65-88, February.
    8. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-587, May.
    9. Tversky, Amos & Wakker, Peter, 1995. "Risk Attitudes and Decision Weights," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1255-1280, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Haliassos & Hector F. CALVO PARDO & Chryssi Giannitsarou & Luc Arrondel, 2016. "Informative Social Interactions," 2016 Meeting Papers 636, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Jim Engle-Warnick & Diego Pulido & Marine de Montaignac, 2016. "Trust, ambiguity, and financial decision-making," CIRANO Working Papers 2016s-44, CIRANO.
    3. Dicks, David & Fulghieri, Paolo, 2015. "Ambiguity, Disagreement, and Allocation of Control in Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 10400, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Jeleva, Meglena & Tallon, Jean-Marc, 2016. "Ambiguïté, comportements et marchés financiers," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 92(1-2), pages 351-383, Mars-Juin.
    5. Dicks, David & Fulghieri, Paolo, 2016. "Innovation Waves, Investor Sentiment, and Mergers," CEPR Discussion Papers 11082, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. repec:eee:soceco:v:69:y:2017:i:c:p:50-60 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Meglena Jeleva & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2016. "Ambiguïté, comportements et marchés financiers," Post-Print halshs-01109639, HAL.
    8. André Palma & Mohammed Abdellaoui & Giuseppe Attanasi & Moshe Ben-Akiva & Ido Erev & Helga Fehr-Duda & Dennis Fok & Craig Fox & Ralph Hertwig & Nathalie Picard & Peter Wakker & Joan Walker & Martin We, 2014. "Beware of black swans: Taking stock of the description–experience gap in decision under uncertainty," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 269-280, September.
    9. Hu, Jinyan & Jiang, Mingming & Zhang, Bo, 2015. "Social Network, Financial Market Participation and Asset Allocation: Evidence from China," RIEI Working Papers 2015-06, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Research Institute for Economic Integration.
    10. Carpenter, Jeffrey & Hans Matthews, Peter & Robbett, Andrea, 2017. "Compensating differentials in experimental labor markets," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 50-60.
    11. Antoniou, Constantinos & Harris, Richard D.F. & Zhang, Ruogu, 2015. "Ambiguity aversion and stock market participation: An empirical analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 57-70.
    12. Stephen Dimmock & Roy Kouwenberg & Olivia Mitchell & Kim Peijnenburg, 2015. "Estimating ambiguity preferences and perceptions in multiple prior models: Evidence from the field," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 219-244, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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