Mathematics and Financial Economics

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 369–381

Household risk aversion and portfolio choices


DOI: 10.1007/s11579-017-0184-1

Cite this article as:
Zhang, W. Math Finan Econ (2017) 11: 369. doi:10.1007/s11579-017-0184-1


In practice, stock investment is one of the most important decisions made by households. The primary goal of this paper is to explain family investment decisions under the assumptions of household member’s preferences and efficient risk sharing based on the collective household model. In particular, by examining the absolute (relative) risk aversion of the household welfare function, we demonstrate how household’s portfolio allocation in stocks changes with family wealth. We examine two types of preference heterogeneity between family members: parameter heterogeneity and functional form heterogeneity. This study offers an alternative explanation of household portfolio choice corresponding with the observation that wealthier households tend to hold greater share of their wealth in risky assets. Specifically, if two decision-makers have standard constant relative risk aversion preference with different relative risk aversions in a household, family’s relative risk aversion decreases as household wealth increases (decreasing relative risk aversion).


Household portfolio choice Risk aversion Household welfare function 

JEL Classification


Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA

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