Essays on intertemporal consumption and portfolio choice

This dissertation aims to extend the academic literature on optimal consumption and portfolio choice over the life cycle. In particular, we analyze optimal choice under preference specifications that incorporate loss aversion, internal habit formation and probability weighting. Furthermore, this dissertation formalizes and analyzes a new pension contract, a so-called personal pension plan with risk sharing (PPR), that plays a dominant role in recent policy reform discussions in the Netherlands. This dissertation has implications for a wide variety of real world pension contracts. We analyze (dis)saving and investing in not only the accumulation phase but also the decumulation (payout) phase of defined contribution (DC) pension plans. This is highly relevant as many retirees worry about the lack of guidance and regulation on how to draw-down accumulated wealth in retirement. This dissertation is equally relevant to analyze reform options for defined benefit (DB) pension plans. In many countries, employers are no longer able or willing to absorb the (investment) risks of their pension plans. We analyze pension plans (without external risk sponsors) that aim to retain key attractive features of DB pension plans (such as stable lifelong income streams). Adequate design of consumption and portfolio strategies, which is the central theme of this dissertation, is thus of great importance to many workers and retirees around the world.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.


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