Portfolio choice over the life-cycle in the presence of cointegration between labor income and inflation

We study portfolio choice for a finite-horizon investor whose labor income is cointegrated with inflation. We show that this long-run relationship has substantial impact on the riskiness of human capital and consequently on the optimal portfolio strategy. Because cointegration raises the long-run correlation between human capital and inflation, young investors’ human capital effectively hedges inflation risk and crowds out the allocation to inflation-indexed bonds. However, the hedging power of human capital diminishes for older investors because of a weaker cointegration effect and less importance of human capital in total wealth. These effects together show that inflation-indexed bonds matter more for older investors
than for young investors.

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