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Household Portfolios: An International Comparison

This paper presents an overview of the main findings of an international project on Household Portfolios coordinated by the authors. Contributions to the project deal with the state of the art in analytical, computational, and econometric methods of analysis of household portfolio choice, identify stylized facts and trends observed in five major countries, and discuss issues relating to the portfolios of two important population groups, namely the elderly and the rich. In this paper, we integrate the main findings of the project, compare portfolio behavior across countries, and contrast theoretical predictions to empirical findings. This allows us to identify a number of stylized facts and portfolio puzzles that future theoretical and empirical research should attempt to analyze and resolve.

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Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 48.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Economic Policy, 2003, vol. 36, pages 123-70
Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:48
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  1. Samuelson, Paul A, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection by Dynamic Stochastic Programming," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 239-46, August.
  2. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-91, 03.
  3. Erzo G. J. Luttmer, 1999. "What Level of Fixed Costs Can Reconcile Consumption and Stock Returns?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 969-997, October.
  4. Robert B. Barsky & F. Thomas Juster & Miles S. Kimball & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-579.
  5. Merton, Robert C, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection under Uncertainty: The Continuous-Time Case," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 247-57, August.
  6. James Tobin, 1956. "Liquidity Preference as Behavior Towards Risk," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 14, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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