Portfolio Choice and Liquidity Constraints

41 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2000

See all articles by Alexander Michaelides

Alexander Michaelides

Imperial College Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Michael Haliassos

Goethe University Frankfurt - House of Finance; Goethe University Frankfurt - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration; CEPR; NETSPAR; Goethe University Frankfurt - Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability (IMFS)

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Date Written: September 18, 2000

Abstract

In this paper, we study the infinite-horizon model of household portfolio choice under liquidity constraints and revisit the portfolio specialization puzzle for impatient consumers with access to riskless and risky assets. We consider a labor income process that allows us to decompose the consumption and portfolio effects of permanent and transitory shocks to labor income and show their interaction with liquidity constraints and their relative importance in producing precautionary effects and the portfolio specialization result. We show why habit persistence and risk aversion cannot resolve the puzzle and argue that positive correlation between earnings shocks and stock returns is unlikely to provide a plausible resolution. We then offer an alternative explanation for observed stock holding patterns and the slow emergence of an equity culture. Specifically, we find that relatively small, fixed, stock market entry costs are sufficient to deter households from participating in the stock market. Such entry costs could arise, for example, from informational considerations, sign-up fees, and investor inertia.

JEL Classification: E2, G11

Suggested Citation

Michaelides, Alexander and Haliassos, Michael, Portfolio Choice and Liquidity Constraints (September 18, 2000). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=190988 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.190988

Alexander Michaelides

Imperial College Business School ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London SW7 2AZ, SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Michael Haliassos (Contact Author)

Goethe University Frankfurt - House of Finance

Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 3
PF H32
Frankfurt am Main, 60323
Germany

Goethe University Frankfurt - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 3
PF H32
Frankfurt am Main, D-60323
Germany

CEPR

London
United Kingdom

NETSPAR ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Goethe University Frankfurt - Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability (IMFS) ( email )

Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 1
Frankfurt, 60323
Germany

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