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Life-Cycle Portfolio Choice, the Wealth Distribution and Asset Prices

Author

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  • Karl Schmedders

    (University of Zurich and Swiss Finance Institute)

  • Felix Kubler

    (IBF, University of Zurich and Swiss Finance Institute)

Abstract

In this paper we examine the volatility of asset returns in a canonical stochastic overlapping generations economy with sequentially complete markets. We show that movements in the in- tergenerational wealth distribution strongly affect asset prices since older generations have a lower propensity to save than younger generations. We investigate effects of aggregate shocks on the wealth distribution and show that they are generally small if agents have identical be- liefs. Differences in opinion, however, can lead to large movements in the wealth distribution even when aggregate shocks are absent. The interplay of belief heterogeneity and life-cycle investments leads to considerable changes in the wealth distribution which in turn result in substantial asset price volatility. In fact, the model generates realistic second moments of asset returns.

Suggested Citation

  • Karl Schmedders & Felix Kubler, 2012. "Life-Cycle Portfolio Choice, the Wealth Distribution and Asset Prices," 2012 Meeting Papers 536, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:536
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2007. "Asset Pricing with Idiosyncratic Risk and Overlapping Generations," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(4), pages 519-548, October.
    2. Kubler, Felix & Schmedders, Karl, 2002. "Recursive Equilibria In Economies With Incomplete Markets," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(02), pages 284-306, April.
    3. Huffman, Gregory W, 1987. "A Dynamic Equilibrium Model of Asset Prices and Transaction Volume," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 138-159, February.
    4. Kenneth L. Judd & Felix Kubler & Karl Schmedders, 2003. "Asset Trading Volume with Dynamically Complete Markets and Heterogeneous Agents," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(5), pages 2203-2218, October.
    5. Bracha, Anat & Brown, Donald J., 2012. "Affective decision making: A theory of optimism bias," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 67-80.
    6. Leonid Kogan & Stephen A. Ross & Jiang Wang & Mark M. Westerfield, 2006. "The Price Impact and Survival of Irrational Traders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(1), pages 195-229, February.
    7. Kehoe, Timothy J. & Levine, David K. & Mas-Colell, Andreu & Woodford, Michael, 1991. "Gross substitutability in large-square economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-25, June.
    8. Bhattacharya,Rabi & Majumdar,Mukul, 2007. "Random Dynamical Systems," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521825658, May.
    9. Bhattacharya,Rabi & Majumdar,Mukul, 2007. "Random Dynamical Systems," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521532723, May.
    10. J. Michael Harrison & David M. Kreps, 1978. "Speculative Investor Behavior in a Stock Market with Heterogeneous Expectations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 92(2), pages 323-336.
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    Cited by:

    1. Roger Farmer, 2014. "Asset Prices in a Lifecycle Economy," NBER Working Papers 19958, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jose-Victor Rios Rull & Jonathan Heathcote & Dirk Krueger & Andy Glover, 2011. "Intergenerational Redistribution in the Great Recession," 2011 Meeting Papers 141, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Dan Vu Cao, 2010. "Collateral Shortages, Asset Price And Investment Volatility With Heterogeneous Beliefs," 2010 Meeting Papers 1233, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D53 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Financial Markets
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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