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Household Portfolios and Risk Bearing over Age and Time

Author

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  • Alessandro Bucciol

    () (Department of Economics (University of Verona))

  • Raffaele Miniaci

    () (University of Brescia)

Abstract

We exploit the US Survey of Consumer Finances from 1998 to 2007 to study households’ portfolio risk bearing. We compare four alternative measures of risk, two based on a financial portfolio and two based on a broader portfolio also including – as illiquid assets – human capital, real estate, business wealth and related debt. The measures provide a different ranking of household risk bearing, but they consistently show that risk bearing fell after 2001, and it positively correlates with wealth, income and financial sophistication. Furthermore, the risk-age profile is sensitive to the definition of portfolio, although it looks flat for many years.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Bucciol & Raffaele Miniaci, 2011. "Household Portfolios and Risk Bearing over Age and Time," Working Papers 15/2011, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ver:wpaper:15/2011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Zoe Oldfield & James P. Smith, 2010. "Housing Mobility and Downsizing at Older Ages in Britain and the United States," Working Papers 787, RAND Corporation.
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    3. Alessandro Bucciol & Raffaele Miniaci, 2011. "Household Portfolios and Implicit Risk Preference," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1235-1250, November.
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    5. 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.
    6. Pelizzon, Loriana & Weber, Guglielmo, 2008. "Are Household Portfolios Efficient? an Analysis Conditional on Housing," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(02), pages 401-431, June.
    7. James M. Poterba & Andrew Samwick, 2001. "Household Portfolio Allocation over the Life Cycle," NBER Chapters,in: Aging Issues in the United States and Japan, pages 65-104 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Jessica A. Wachter & Motohiro Yogo, 2010. "Why Do Household Portfolio Shares Rise in Wealth?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, pages 3929-3965.
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    12. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Stefan Nagel, 2006. "Do Wealth Fluctuations Generate Time-varying Risk Aversion? Micro-Evidence on Individuals' Asset Allocation," NBER Working Papers 12809, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Zoe Oldfield & James P. Smith, 2010. "Housing Mobility and Downsizing at Older Ages in Britain and the United States," Working Papers WR-787, RAND Corporation.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    household finance; risk bearing; background risk; real estate; human capital;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance

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