IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Asset market participation and portfolio choice over the life-cycle

We study the life cycle of portfolio allocation following for 15 years a large random sample of Norwegian households using error-free data on all components of households' investments drawn from the Tax Registry. Both, participation in the stock market and the portfolio share in stocks, have important life cycle patterns. Participation is limited at all ages but follows a hump-shaped profile, which peaks around retirement; the share invested in stocks among the participants is high and flat for the young but investors start reducing it as retirement comes into sight. Our data suggest a double adjustment as people age: a rebalancing of the portfolio away from stocks as they approach retirement, and stock market exit after retirement. Existing calibrated life cycle models can account for the first behaviour but not the second. We show that incorporating in these models a reasonable per period participation cost can generate limited participation among the young but not enough exit from the stock market among the elderly. Adding also a small probability of a large loss when investing in stocks, produces a joint pattern of participation and of the risky asset share that is similar to the one observed in the data. A structural estimation of the relevant parameters of the model reveals that the parameter combination that fits the data best is one with a relatively large risk aversion, small participation cost and a yearly large loss probability of around 1.3 percent.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Statistics Norway, Research Department in its series Discussion Papers with number 758.

in new window

Date of creation: Oct 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:758
Contact details of provider: Postal: P.O.Box 8131 Dep, N-0033 Oslo, Norway
Phone: (+47) 21 09 00 00
Fax: (+47) 21 09 49 73
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Richard Blundell & Michael Graber & Magne Mogstad, 2014. "Labor income dynamics and the insurance from taxes, transfers and the family," IFS Working Papers W14/01, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Deaton, Angus & Paxson, Christina, 1994. "Intertemporal Choice and Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 437-67, June.
  3. Laurent Calvet & Paolo Sodini & John Y. Campbell, 2007. "Down or out: Assessing the welfare costs of household investment mistakes," Post-Print hal-00671903, HAL.
  4. Sule Alan, 2006. "Entry Costs and Stock Market Participation over the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(4), pages 588-611, October.
  5. Glenn R. Hubbard & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 03-95, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  6. Francisco J. Gomes & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Luis M. Viceira, 2008. "Optimal Life-Cycle Investing with Flexible Labor Supply: A Welfare Analysis of Life-Cycle Funds," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 297-303, May.
  7. Christopher D. Carroll & Andrew A. Samwick, 1995. "The Nature of Precautionary Wealth," NBER Working Papers 5193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Vestad, Ola Lotherington, 2013. "Labour supply effects of early retirement provision," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 98-109.
  9. Paola Giuliano & Antonio Spilimbergo, 2009. "Growing Up in a Recession: Beliefs and the Macroeconomy," NBER Working Papers 15321, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Sule Alan, 2012. "Do disaster expectations explain household portfolios?," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 3(1), pages 1-28, 03.
  11. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2005. "Trusting the Stock Market," NBER Working Papers 11648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Merton, Robert C., 1971. "Optimum consumption and portfolio rules in a continuous-time model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 373-413, December.
  13. Luca Benzoni & Pierre Collin-Dufresne & Robert S. Goldstein, 2007. "Portfolio choice over the life-cycle when the stock and labor markets are cointegrated," Working Paper Series WP-07-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  14. John Y. Campbell, 2006. "Household Finance," NBER Working Papers 12149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. repec:oup:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:2:p:433-495 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. John Y. Campbell & Luis M. Viceira, 1996. "Consumption and Portfolio Decisions When Expected Returns are Time Varying," NBER Working Papers 5857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Francisco J. Gomes & Alexander Michaelides, 2003. "Portfolio choice with internal habit formation : a life-cycle model with uninsurable labor income risk," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 196, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  18. Shmuel Kandel & Robert F. Stambaugh, 1995. "On the Predictability of Stock Returns: An Asset-Allocation Perspective," NBER Working Papers 4997, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Steven J. Davis & Felix Kubler & Paul Willen, 2006. "Borrowing Costs and the Demand for Equity over the Life Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 348-362, May.
  20. 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.
  21. John Y. CAMPBELL & Luis VICEIRA, 1998. "Who Should Buy Long-Term Bonds?," FAME Research Paper Series rp5, International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering.
  22. Zvi Bodie & Robert C. Merton & William F. Samuelson, 1992. "Labor Supply Flexibility and Portfolio Choice in a Life-Cycle Model," NBER Working Papers 3954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Robert Ostling & Erik Lindqvist & David Cesarini & Joseph Briggs, 2015. "Wealth and Stock Market Participation: Estimating the Causal Effect From Swedish Lotteries," 2015 Meeting Papers 806, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  24. Valery Polkovnichenko, 2007. "Life-Cycle Portfolio Choice with Additive Habit Formation Preferences and Uninsurable Labor Income Risk," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(1), pages 83-124, January.
  25. Martin Browning & Ian Crawford & Marike Knoef, 2012. "The age-period cohort problem: set identification and point identification," CeMMAP working papers CWP02/12, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  26. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris Telmer & Amir Yaron, 1996. "Asset pricing with idiosyncratic risk and overlapping generations," Economics Working Papers 405, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 1999.
  27. Robert J. Barro, 2009. "Rare Disasters, Asset Prices, and Welfare Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 243-64, March.
  28. Barro, Robert, 2006. "Rare Disasters and Asset Markets in the Twentieth Century," Scholarly Articles 3208215, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  29. Luca Benzoni & Pierre Collin-Dufresne & Robert S. Goldstein, 2007. "Portfolio Choice over the Life-Cycle when the Stock and Labor Markets Are Cointegrated," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(5), pages 2123-2167, October.
  30. Ernst R. Berndt & Zvi Griliches & Neal Rappaport, 1993. "Econometric Estimates of Prices Indexes for Personal Computers in the 1990s," NBER Working Papers 4549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Joao F. Cocco, 2005. "Consumption and Portfolio Choice over the Life Cycle," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(2), pages 491-533.
  32. Luis M. Viceira, 1999. "Optimal Portfolio Choice for Long-Horizon Investors with Nontradable Labor Income," NBER Working Papers 7409, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Heaton, John & Lucas, Deborah, 1997. "Market Frictions, Savings Behavior, And Portfolio Choice," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 76-101, January.
  34. Kenneth Judd & Lilia Maliar & Rafael Valero & Serguei Maliar, 2013. "Smolyak method for solving dynamic economic models: Lagrange interpolation, anisotropic grid and adaptive domain," Working Papers. Serie AD 2013-06, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  35. Gomes, Francisco J & Michaelides, Alexander, 2003. "Portfolio Choice with Internal Habit Formation: A Life-Cycle Model with Uninsurable Labour Income Risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 3868, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  36. Julie Agnew & Pierluigi Balduzzi & Annika Sundén, 2003. "Portfolio Choice and Trading in a Large 401(k) Plan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 193-215, March.
  37. repec:use:tkiwps:2323 is not listed on IDEAS
  38. Rietz, Thomas A., 1988. "The equity risk premium a solution," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 117-131, July.
  39. Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2002. "Towards an Explanation of Household Portfolio Choice Heterogeneity: Nonfinancial Income and Participation Cost Structures," NBER Working Papers 8884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Michael Haliassos and Alexander Michaelides, 2001. "Calibration and Computation of Household Portfolio Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 194, Society for Computational Economics.
  41. Campbell, John Y. & Viceira, Luis M., 2002. "Strategic Asset Allocation: Portfolio Choice for Long-Term Investors," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296942, July.
  42. repec:oup:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:1:p:1-55 is not listed on IDEAS
  43. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:758. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (J Bruusgaard)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.