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

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  • Stephen Satchell

    (University of Cambridge)

  • Susan Thorp

    (University of Sydney)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Satchell & Susan Thorp, 2007. "Scenario Analysis with Recursive Utility: Dynamic Consumption Plans for Charitable Endowments," Research Paper Series 209, Quantitative Finance Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney.
  • Handle: RePEc:uts:rpaper:209
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    File URL: https://www.uts.edu.au/sites/default/files/qfr-archive-02/QFR-rp209.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    13. Jonathan Gruber, 2006. "A Tax-Based Estimate of the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution," NBER Working Papers 11945, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stephen Satchell & Susan Thorp, 2011. "Uncertain survival and time discounting: intertemporal consumption plans for family trusts," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 239-266, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    recursive utility; stochastic dominance; inter-temporal choice;

    JEL classification:

    • G00 - Financial Economics - - General - - - General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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