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Risk aversion, intertemporal substitution, and the aggregate investment-uncertainty relationship

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  • Enrico Saltari
  • Davide Ticchi

Abstract

We analyze the role of risk aversion and intertemporal substitution in a simple dynamic investment model. Our main finding is that risk aversion cannot by itself explain a negative relationship between aggregate investment and aggregate uncertainty, as the effect of increased uncertainty in investement also depends on the intertemporal elasticity of substitution. In particular, the relationship between aggregate investment and aggregate uncertainty is positive even if agents are very risk averse, as long as the elasticity of intertemporal substitution is low. A negative relationship requires thet the relative risk aversion and the elasticity of intertemporal substitution are both relatively high or both relatively low. We also show that the implications of our model are consistent with the available empirical evidence.

Suggested Citation

  • Enrico Saltari & Davide Ticchi, 2002. "Risk aversion, intertemporal substitution, and the aggregate investment-uncertainty relationship," Working Papers 69, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sap:wpaper:wp69
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    Cited by:

    1. Barbara Annicchiarico & Alessandra Pelloni & Fabrizio Valenti, 2016. "Volatility and Growth with Recursive Preferences," CEIS Research Paper 387, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 24 Jun 2016.
    2. Inekwe John Nkwoma, 2014. "Business Cycle Variability and Growth Linkage," Monash Economics Working Papers 38-14, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    3. Isoré, Marlène & Szczerbowicz, Urszula, 2017. "Disaster risk and preference shifts in a New Keynesian model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 97-125.
    4. Julien Hugonnier & Florian Pelgrin & Pascal St-Amour, 2009. "Health and (other) Asset Holdings," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 09-18, Swiss Finance Institute.
    5. Panousi, Vasia & Papanikolaou, Dimitris, 2009. "Investment, idiosyncratic risk, and ownership," MPRA Paper 24239, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Julien Hugonnier & Florian Pelgrin & Pascal St-Amour, 2010. "A structural analysis of the health expenditures and portfolio choices of retired agents," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 10-29, Swiss Finance Institute.
    7. Addessi, William & Saltari, Enrico, 2011. "The effect of debt tax benefits on firm investment decisions," MPRA Paper 35436, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Meinen, Philipp & Roehe, Oke, 2017. "On measuring uncertainty and its impact on investment: Cross-country evidence from the euro area," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 161-179.
    9. Gianluca Femminis, 2012. "Risk aversion heterogeneity and the investment-uncertainty relationship," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Teoria Economica e Metodi Quantitativi itemq1260, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    10. Herbst, Anthony F. & Wu, Joseph S.K. & Ho, Chi Pui, 2012. "Relationship between risk attitude and economic recovery in optimal growth theory," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 141-150.
    11. Saltari, E. & Travaglini, G., 2012. "A note on optimal capital stock and financing constraints," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 1177-1180.
    12. Julien Hugonnier & Florian Pelgrin, 2013. "Health and (Other) Asset Holdings," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 663-710.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity

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