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Reexamining the Empirical Relevance of Habit Formation Preferences

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  • Cai, Zongwu
  • Liu, Xuan
  • Yang, Fang

Abstract

We reexamine the empirical relevance of habit formation preferences with micro-data on households' portfolio choices. We first derive the analytical solution to the risky asset share in a theoretical model with both habits and time-varying labor income. Our analytical results indicate that (1) for each household, there are two channels through which the risky asset share responds to wealth fluctuations, habits and household income; (2) across households, there are heterogenous responses through the habit channel: those who experience large negative income shocks reduce their share of risky assets; and (3) two potential mis-identification problems arise when both two channels and the heterogeneity are ignored. Contrary to the existing literature, our empirical results find positive evidence of habit formation preferences after correcting the two mis-identification problems.

Suggested Citation

  • Cai, Zongwu & Liu, Xuan & Yang, Fang, 2012. "Reexamining the Empirical Relevance of Habit Formation Preferences," MPRA Paper 37817, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:37817
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Raquel Carrasco & José M. Labeaga & J. David López-Salido, 2005. "Consumption and Habits: Evidence from Panel Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 144-165, January.
    2. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," CRSP working papers 412, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    3. Lawrence J. Christiano & Michele Boldrin & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2001. "Habit Persistence, Asset Returns, and the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 149-166, March.
    4. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
    5. Jessica A. Wachter & Motohiro Yogo, 2010. "Why Do Household Portfolio Shares Rise in Wealth?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(11), pages 3929-3965, November.
    6. Morten Ravn & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2006. "Deep Habits," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 195-218.
    7. 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..
    8. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Stefan Nagel, 2006. "Do Wealth Fluctuations Generate Time-varying Risk Aversion? Micro-Evidence on Individuals' Asset Allocation," NBER Working Papers 12809, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Karen E. Dynan, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumer Preferences: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 391-406, June.
    10. Uribe, Martin, 2002. "The price-consumption puzzle of currency pegs," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 533-569, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Habit formation; Micro data; Portfolio choice;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • 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

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