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Scenario Analysis with Recursive Utility: Dynamic Consumption Plans for Charitable Endowments

  • Stephen Satchell

    (University of Cambridge)

  • Susan Thorp

    (University of Sydney)

We determine optimal consumption paths under a series of returns scenarios for charitable endowments with distinct tastes over investment risk and inter-temporal substitution. Charities typically prefer smooth consumption paths but are investment-risk tolerant. Using a recursive, Kreps-Porteus utility function, we model the optimal disbursement from an infinitely-lived charitable trust, then, allowing a general form for the returns density, we apply stochastic dominance relations to estimate income/substitution effects whereby a change in future returns influences the current consumption rate. The elasticity of intertemporal substitution rather than risk aversion is key: optimal consumption rises or falls as the elasticity diverges from one.

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Paper provided by Quantitative Finance Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney in its series Research Paper Series with number 209.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uts:rpaper:209
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  9. Stephen G. Dimmock, 2012. "Background Risk and University Endowment Funds," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 789-799, August.
  10. Bhamra, Harjoat S. & Uppal, Raman, 2005. "The Role of Risk Aversion and Intertemporal Substitution in Dynamic Consumption-Portfolio Choicewith Recursive Utility," CEPR Discussion Papers 5020, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  12. Jorion, Philippe & Giovannini, Alberto, 1993. "Time-series tests of a non-expected-utility model of asset pricing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1083-1100, June.
  13. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1991. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 263-86, April.
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  17. Smith, William T., 1996. "Feasibility and transversality conditions for models of portfolio choice with non-expected utility in continuous time," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 123-131, November.
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