EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Durable consumption and asset management with transaction and observation costs

Fernando Alvarez, Luigi Guiso () and Francesco Lippi

No 7702, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: The empirical evidence on rational inattention lags far behind the theoretical developments: micro evidence on the most immediate consequence of observation costs - the infrequent observation of state variables - is not available in standard datasets. We contribute to filling the gap with two novel household surveys that record the frequency with which investors observe the value of their financial investments, as well as the frequency with which they trade in financial assets and durable goods. We use these data to test some predictions of existing models and show that to match the patterns in the data we need to modify these models by shifting the focus from non-durable to durable consumption. The model we develop features both observation and transaction costs and implies a mixture of time-dependent and state-dependent rules, where the importance of each rule depends on the ratio of the observation to the transaction cost. Numerical simulations show that the model can produce frequency of portfolio observations and asset trading comparable to that of the median investor (about 4 and 0.4 per year, respectively) with small observation costs (about 1 basis point of financial wealth) and larger transaction costs (about 30 basis points of financial wealth). In spite of its small size the observation cost gives rise to infrequent information gathering (between monthly and quarterly). A quantitative assessment of the relevance of the observation costs shows that the behavior of the investors is essentially unchanged compared to the one produced by a model with transaction but no observation cost. We test a novel prediction of the model on the relationship between assets trades and durable-goods trades and find that it is aligned with the data.

Keywords: attention costs; durable goods; household finance; liquidity choice (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D14 D83 D91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010-02
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=7702 (application/pdf)
CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

Related works:
Journal Article: Durable Consumption and Asset Management with Transaction and Observation Costs (2012) Downloads
Working Paper: Durable Consumption and Asset Management with Transaction and Observation Costs (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: Durable Consumption and Asset Management with Transaction and Observation Costs (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: Durable consumption and asset management with transaction and observation costs (2010) 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:cpr:ceprdp:7702

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
http://www.cepr.org/ ... ers/dp.php?dpno=7702

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers Centre for Economic Policy Research, 33 Great Sutton Street, London EC1V 0DX.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

 
Page updated 2019-10-14
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7702