Hedging Labor Income Risk over the Life-Cycle
39 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2019
Date Written: October 25, 2019
We show that the decision to participate in the stock market depends on the ability of equities to hedge the individual permanent earnings shocks, consistent with implications of life-cycle models. Those households who refrain from stock investing display positive correlation between their own permanent income innovations and market returns. These results owe to a two-step empirical strategy. First, a minimum distance estimation disentangles the aggregate from the idiosyncratic permanent component of labor income risks. The second step reconstructs the individual life-cycle dynamics of persistent shocks through a Kalman filter applied to the estimated labor income process. We are thus able to obtain the full cross-sectional distribution of individual correlations between permanent shocks and market returns.
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