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The role of labor-income risk in household risk-taking?

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  • Hubar, Sylwia
  • Koulovatianos, Christos
  • Li, Jian

Abstract

In fifteen European countries, China, and the US, stocks and business equity as a share of total household assets are represented by an increasing and convex function of income/wealth. A parsimonious model fitted to the data shows why background labor-income risk can explain much of this risk-taking pattern. Uncontrollable labor-income risk stresses middle-income households more because labor income is a larger fraction of their total lifetime resources compared with the rich. In response, middle-income households reduce (controllable) financial risk. Richer households, having less pressure, can afford more risk-taking. The poor take low risk because they avoid jeopardizing their subsistence consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Hubar, Sylwia & Koulovatianos, Christos & Li, Jian, 2020. "The role of labor-income risk in household risk-taking?," CFS Working Paper Series 640, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:640
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    background risk; household-portfolio shares; business equity; subsistence consumption; wealth inequality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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