Working Paper Series

Does Household Finance Matter? Small Financial Errors with Large Social Costs

Households with familiarity biases tilt their portfolios toward a few risky assets. The resulting mean-variance loss from portfolio underdiversification is equivalent to only a modest reduction of ...

Author(s) :

Harjoat S. Bhamra

Abstract :

Households with familiarity biases tilt their portfolios toward a few risky assets. The resulting mean-variance loss from portfolio underdiversification is equivalent to only a modest reduction of about 1% per year in a household’s portfolio return. However, once we consider also the effect of familiarity biases on the asset-allocation and intertemporal consumption-savings decisions, the welfare loss is multiplied by a factor of four. In general equilibrium, the suboptimal decisions of households distort also aggregate growth, amplifying further the overall social welfare loss. Our findings demonstrate that financial markets are not a mere sideshow to the real economy and that improving the financial decisions of households can lead to large benefits, not just for individual households, but also for society.

Keywords: Portfolio choice, underdiversification bias, growth, social welfare

Link SSRN

Date : 17/09/2018
Working Paper Number: WP-18-004

See Also

The EDHEC professor Gianpaolo Parise invited to join the CEPR
News
- 07-01-2020
Gianpaolo Parise, Associate Professor in Finance at EDHEC Business School have been...
Can financial theory make sense of the factor zoo?
News
- 20-11-2019
EDHEC PhD in Finance Newsletter - November 2019  Editorial signed by Laurent Calvet,...
Appointment and Grant for EDHEC Professor Raman Uppal
News
- 19-11-2019
At the end of September 2019, EQDerivatives launched The Journal of Systematic...
EDHEC PhD alumni, Gideon Ozik and Vijay Vaidyanathan, contributors for MOOCs offered by EDHEC Business School and Coursera
News
- 16-11-2019
Gideon Ozik, EDHEC PhD (2011) and Vijay Vaidyanathan, EDHEC PhD (2012) are contributing...