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Risk aversion and wealth: evidence from person-to-person lending portfolios

Paravisini, Daniel and Rappoport, Veronica and Ravina, Enrichetta (2010) Risk aversion and wealth: evidence from person-to-person lending portfolios. NBER working paper, 16063. National Bureau of Economic Research, Massachusetts, USA.

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Identification Number: 16063


We estimate risk aversion from the actual financial decisions of 2,168 investors in Lending Club (LC), a person-to-person lending platform. We develop a methodology that allows us to estimate risk aversion parameters from each portfolio choice. Since the same individual makes repeated investments, we are able to construct a panel of risk aversion parameters that we use to disentangle heterogeneity in attitudes towards risk from the elasticity of investor-specific risk aversion to changes in wealth. In the cross section, we find that wealthier investors are more risk averse. Using changes in house prices as a source of variation, we find that investors become more risk averse after a negative wealth shock. These preferences consistently extrapolate to other investor decisions within LC.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2010 The authors
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Sets: Departments > Finance
Collections > Economists Online
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2012 13:06
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2016 16:54

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