EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Portfolio Choices, Firm Shocks, and Uninsurable Wage Risk

Andreas Fagereng (), Luigi Guiso () and Luigi Pistaferri

Review of Economic Studies, 2018, vol. 85, issue 1, 437-474

Abstract: Assessing the importance of uninsurable wage risk for individual financial choices faces two challenges. First, the identification of the marginal effect requires a measure of at least one component of risk that cannot be diversified or avoided. Moreover, measures of uninsurable wage risk must vary over time to eliminate unobserved heterogeneity. Secondly, evaluating the economic significance of risk requires knowledge of the size of all the wage risk actually faced. Existing estimates are problematic because measures of wage risk fail to satisfy the “non-avoidability” requirement. This creates a downward bias, which is at the root of the small estimated effect of wage risk on portfolio choices. To tackle this problem we match panel data of workers and firms and use the variability in the profitability of the firm that is passed over to workers to obtain a measure of uninsurable risk. Using this measure to instrument total variability in individual earnings, we find that the marginal effect of uninsurable wage risk is much larger than estimates that ignore endogeneity. We bound the economic impact of risk and find that its overall effect is contained, not because its marginal effect is small but because its size is small. And the size of uninsurable wage risk is small because firms provide substantial wage insurance.

Keywords: Portfolio choice; Uninsurable wage risk; Background risk; Firm shocks (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G11 D1 D8 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/restud/rdx023 (application/pdf)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

Related works:
Working Paper: Portfolio Choices, Firm Shocks and Uninsurable Wage Risk (2016) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:oup:restud:v:85:y:2018:i:1:p:437-474.

Access Statistics for this article

Review of Economic Studies is currently edited by Andrea Prat, Bruno Biais, Kjetil Storesletten and Enrique Sentana

More articles in Review of Economic Studies from Oxford University Press
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Oxford University Press ().

 
Page updated 2019-09-13
Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:85:y:2018:i:1:p:437-474.