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Michael Andreasch

13 May 2014
This paper compares the survey results on savings deposits and estimates on total financial assets from the Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS) in Austria with administrative records from the national accounts for the household sector. The micro data newly generated through the HFCS and the detailed (internally available) breakdowns of savings deposits in the existing macro data (Financial Accounts) lend themselves to a more in-depth analysis of the similarities and differences in these two sources than what has been done in the literature so far. Cross-checking the data shows that the HFCS-based aggregate estimates differ from the financial accounts data, which is line with evidence from the literature, but additionally the paper adds to the literature that the underlying patterns have been captured adequately by the survey at the micro level. Moreover, a simulation based on the HFCS data serves to demonstrate the effect that the inclusion of savings deposits in the most affluent tail of the distribution has on common statistics. Undercoverage above all of the upper deposit ranges suggests an underestimation or bias in the statistics. This underestimation, however, can be shown to be relatively minor, in particular in the case of robust statistical measures such as the median or percentile ratios.
JEL Code
C80 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology, Computer Programs→General
D30 : Microeconomics→Distribution→General
D31 : Microeconomics→Distribution→Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
E01 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→General→Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth, Environmental Accounts
E21 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Consumption, Saving, Wealth
Household Finance and Consumption Network (HFCN)