Risk Aversion and Wealth: Evidence from Person-to-Person Lending Portfolios
London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE); Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics
London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)
Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics
April 8, 2015
We estimate risk aversion from investors’ financial decisions in a person-to-person lending platform. We develop a method that obtains a risk aversion parameter from each portfolio choice. Since the same individuals invest repeatedly, we construct a panel dataset that we use to disentangle heterogeneity in attitudes towards risk across investors, from the elasticity of risk aversion to changes in wealth. We find that wealthier investors are more risk averse in the cross section, and that investors become more risk averse after a negative housing wealth shock. Thus, investors exhibit preferences consistent with decreasing relative risk aversion and habit formation.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 55
Keywords: Risk Aversion, Panel Data, Credit Market
JEL Classification: E21, G11, D12, D14
Date posted: November 20, 2009 ; Last revised: April 18, 2015
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