Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=686240
 
 

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Optimism and Economic Choice


Manju Puri


Duke University - Fuqua School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

David T. Robinson


Duke University - Fuqua School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

May 2005

AFA 2006 Boston Meetings Paper

Abstract:     
This paper presents some of the first large-scale survey evidence linking optimism to major economic choices. We create a novel measure of optimism using the Survey of Consumer Finance by comparing a person's self-reported life expectancy to that implied by statistical tables. Optimists are more likely to believe that future economic conditions will improve. Self-employed respondents are more optimistic than regular wage earners. In general, more optimistic people work harder and anticipate longer age-adjusted work careers. They are more likely to remarry, conditional on divorce. In addition, they tilt their investment portfolios more toward individual stocks.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 41

Keywords: Optimism

JEL Classification: D1, G1, M54

working papers series


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Date posted: August 1, 2005  

Suggested Citation

Puri, Manju and Robinson, David T., Optimism and Economic Choice (May 2005). AFA 2006 Boston Meetings Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=686240 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.686240

Contact Information

Manju Puri (Contact Author)
Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )
1 Towerview Drive
Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States
919-660-7657 (Phone)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
David T. Robinson
Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )
Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States
919-660-8023 (Phone)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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