American Economic Review: Vol. 91 No. 1 (March 2001)


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Who Should Buy Long-Term Bonds?

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Campbell, John Y., and LuisM. Viceira. 2001. "Who Should Buy Long-Term Bonds?" American Economic Review, 91(1): 99-127.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.91.1.99


According to conventional wisdom, long-term bonds are appropriate for conservative long-term investors. This paper develops a model of optimal consumption and portfolio choice for infinite-lived investors with recursive utility who face stochastic interest rates, solves the model using an approximate analytical method, and evaluates conventional wisdom. As risk aversion increases, the myopic component of risky asset demand disappears but the intertemporal hedging component does not. Conservative investors hold assets to hedge the risk that real interest rates will decline. Long-term inflation-indexed bonds are most suitable for this purpose, but nominal bonds may also be used if inflation risk is low.

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Campbell, John Y. (Harvard U and NBER)
Viceira, LuisM. (Harvard U, NBER, and CEPR)

JEL Classifications

D91: Intertemporal Consumer Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
G11: Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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