Non-Market Wealth, Background Risk and Portfolio Choice
50 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2007
Date Written: March 1, 2007
We examine the effects of non-portfolio risks on optimal portfolio choice. Examples of non-portfolio risks include, among others, uncertain labor income, uncertainty about the terminal value of fixed assets such as housing and uncertainty about future tax liabilities. In particular, while some of these risks are added to portfolio value and have been amply studied, others are multiplicative in nature and have received far less attention. Moreover, the combined effects of multiple risks lead to some seemingly paradoxical choice behavior. We rationalize such behaviour and we show how non-portfolio risks might lead to seemingly U-shaped relative risk aversion for a representative investor, as found empirically by Ait-Sahilia and Lo (2000) and Jackwerth (2000).
Keywords: Portfolio choice, Derived relative risk aversion, Additive background risk, Multiplicative background risk
JEL Classification: G11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation