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Portfolio Choice and Liquidity Constraints

  • Michael Haliassos
  • Alexandros Michaelides

This paper generalizes Deaton's (1991) approach to saving under borrowing constraints to incorporate portfolio choice. For infinite horizon, impatient consumers, effects of risk aversion, prudence and temperance on portfolios can be different from those obtained in atemporal models. We confirm the surprising result of portfolio specialization in stocks (Heaton and Lucas, 1997) using a different earnings process, and we provide a rationale for why risk aversion and habit persistence cannot reverse it. We then show that positive correlation of stock returns with permanent, but not transitory, earnings shocks can generate demand for bonds and zero stockholding. However, existing empirical estimates of such correlations are at variance with portfolio data. We offer an alternative explanation of observed stock holding patterns based on fixed stock market entry costs. The entry cost required to keep impatient households out of the stock market is surprisingly small. This suggests that entry costs could generate the observed reluctance of households to undertake stockholding and explain the slowness in the emergence of an "equity culture" among households.

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File URL: http://papers.econ.ucy.ac.cy/RePEc/papers/9918.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Cyprus Department of Economics in its series University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics with number 9918.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jun 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucy:cypeua:9918
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.ucy.ac.cy

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  12. Angus Deaton & Guy Laroque, 1990. "On The Behavior of Commodity Prices," NBER Working Papers 3439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Heaton, John & Lucas, Deborah J, 1996. "Evaluating the Effects of Incomplete Markets on Risk Sharing and Asset Pricing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 443-87, June.
  14. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. James Banks & Tanner, S, 2000. "Household portfolios in the UK," IFS Working Papers W00/14, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  16. 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.
  17. N. Gregory Mankiw & Stephen P. Zeldes, 1990. "The Consumption of Stockholders and Non-Stockholders," NBER Working Papers 3402, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Miles S. Kimball, 1991. "Standard Risk Aversion," NBER Technical Working Papers 0099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Eymann, Angelika, 2000. "Household Portfolios in Germany," Discussion Papers 603, Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre.
  20. Bertaut, Carol C. & Haliassos, Michael, 1997. "Precautionary portfolio behavior from a life-cycle perspective," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(8-9), pages 1511-1542, June.
  21. Haliassos, Michael & Bertaut, Carol C, 1995. "Why Do So Few Hold Stocks?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(432), pages 1110-29, September.
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  25. David I. Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 1998. "Self-Control and Saving for Retirement," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 91-196.
  26. Heaton, John & Lucas, Deborah, 2000. "Portfolio Choice in the Presence of Background Risk," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 1-26, January.
  27. Michael Haliassos & Alexander Michaelides, 2003. "Portfolio Choice and Liquidity Constraints," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(1), pages 143-177, February.
  28. John M. Abowd & David Card, 1986. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," NBER Working Papers 1832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Haliassos, Michael & Hassapis, Christis, 2001. "Non-expected Utility, Saving and Portfolios," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(468), pages 69-102, January.
  30. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Eymann, Angelika, 0000. "Household Portfolios in Germany," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 00-15, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  31. Michaelides, Alexander, 2001. "Portfolio Choice, Liquidity Constraints and Stock Market Mean Reversion," CEPR Discussion Papers 2823, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  32. Christopher D. Carroll, 1992. "The Buffer-Stock Theory of Saving: Some Macroeconomic Evidence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 61-156.
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  39. Michael Haliassos & Christis Hassapis, 1998. "Borrowing Constraints, Portfolio Choice, and Precautionary Motives: Theoretical Predictions and Empirical Complications," CSEF Working Papers 11, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  40. Sydney Ludvigson, 1999. "Consumption And Credit: A Model Of Time-Varying Liquidity Constraints," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 434-447, August.
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  42. repec:dgr:kubcen:200055 is not listed on IDEAS
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  44. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris Telmer & Amir Yaron, . "Persistent Idiosyncratic Shocks and Incomplete Markets," GSIA Working Papers 24, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
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