Household Portfolios and Implicit Risk Aversion

Speaker:  Alessandro Bucciol - Universita' di Verona
  Monday, March 16, 2009 at 1:00 PM Biblioteca DSE c/o Palazzina 32 (Ex Caserma Passalacqua)

We derive from a sample of US households the distribution of the risk aversion implicit in their portfolio choice. Our estimate minimizes the distance between the certainty equivalent return generated with observed portfolios and portfolios that are optimal in a mean-variance framework. Taking into account real wealth and constraints in portfolio composition, we obtain a median risk aversion coefficient of 2.7 and observe substantial heterogeneity across households. Our analysis informs that risk aversion reduces with wealth and education, and increases with age. Disregarding real wealth and constraints, our estimates are markedly larger and the direction of the above correlations differs.  The inferred optimization bias is small, especially with over-simplified portfolios.
 

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paper  pdfpdf (it, 184 KB, 16/03/09)

Programme Director
Angelo Zago

Publication date
January 22, 2009

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