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Twin picks: Disentangling the determinants of risk-taking in household portfolios

  • Calvet, Laurent E.
  • Sodini, Paolo

This paper investigates risk-taking in the liquid portfolios held by a large panel of Swedish twins. We document that the portfolio share invested in risky assets is an increasing and concave function of financial wealth, leading to different risk sensitivities across investors. Human capital, which we estimate directly from individual labor income, also drives risk-taking positively, while internal habit and expenditure commitments tend to reduce it. Our micro findings lend strong support to decreasing relative risk aversion and habit formation preferences. Furthermore, heterogeneous risk sensitivities across investors help reconcile individual preferences with representative-agent models.

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Paper provided by Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt in its series SAFE Working Paper Series with number 13.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:safewp:13
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  1. David, Cesarini & Dawes, Christopher T. & Johannesson, Magnus & Lichtenstein, Paul & Wallace, Björn, 2007. "Genetic Variation in Preferences for Giving and Risk-Taking," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 679, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 12 Jan 2009.
  2. David Cesarini & Magnus Johannesson & Paul Lichtenstein & Örjan Sandewall & Björn Wallace, 2010. "Genetic Variation in Financial Decision-Making," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(5), pages 1725-1754, October.
  3. Laurent-Emmanuel Calvet & Paolo Sodini & John Y. Campbell, 2009. "Fight Or Flight? Portfolio Rebalancing by Individual Investors," Post-Print hal-00459683, HAL.
  4. Christopher D. Carroll & Andrew A. Samwick, 1995. "The Nature of Precautionary Wealth," NBER Working Papers 5193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Laurent Calvet & Paolo Sodini & John Y. Campbell, 2007. "Down or out: Assessing the welfare costs of household investment mistakes," Post-Print hal-00671903, HAL.
  6. Laurent E. Calvet & John Y. Campbell & Paolo Sodini, 2009. "Fight Or Flight? Portfolio Rebalancing by Individual Investors-super-," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(1), pages 301-348, February.
  7. Barnea, Amir & Cronqvist, Henrik & Siegel, Stephan, 2010. "Nature or Nurture: What Determines Investor Behavior?," SIFR Research Report Series 72, Institute for Financial Research.
  8. Joao F. Cocco, 2005. "Consumption and Portfolio Choice over the Life Cycle," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(2), pages 491-533.
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