Serie: Working Papers. 2241.
Author: Julio Gálvez and Gonzalo Paz-Pardo.
Households face earnings risk which is non-normal and varies by age and over the income distribution. We show that, in the context of a structurally estimated life-cycle portfolio choice model, allowing for these rich features of earnings dynamics helps to better understand the limited participation of households in the stock market and their low holdings of risky assets. Because households are subject to more background risk than previously considered, the estimated model implies a substantially lower coefficient of risk aversion and a lower optimal risky asset share for older workers with low wealth and high earnings.