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Pirmin Fessler

9 January 2009
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 100
Details
Abstract
The first part of this paper provides a brief survey of the recent literature that employs survey data on household finance and consumption. Given the breadth of the topic, it focuses on issues that are particularly relevant for policy, namely: i) wealth effects on consumption, ii) housing prices and household indebtedness, iii) retirement income, consumption and pension reforms, iv) access to credit and credit constraints, v) financial innovation, consumption smoothing and portfolio selection and vi) wealth inequality. The second part uses concrete examples to summarise how results from such surveys feed into policy-making within the central banks that already conduct such surveys.
JEL Code
C42 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics→Survey Methods
D12 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
D14 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Household Saving; Personal Finance
Network
Eurosystem Monetary Transmission Network
1 April 2014
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1663
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Abstract
We study the link between household structure and cross country differences in the wealth distribution using a recently compiled data set for the euro area (HFCS). We estimate counterfactual distributions using non-parametric re-weighting to examine the extent to which differences in the unconditional distributions of wealth across euro area countries can be explained by differences in household structure. We find that imposing a common household structure has strong effects on both the full unconditional distributions as well as its mappings to different inequality measures. For the median 50% of the differences are explained for Austria, 15% for Germany, 25% for Italy, 14% for Spain and 38% for Malta. For others as Belgium, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovenia and Slovakia household structure masks the differences to the euro area median and Finland and the Netherlands change their position from below to above the euro area median. The impact on the mean and percentile ratios is similarly strong and varies with regard to direction and level across countries and their distributions. We can confirm the finding of Bover (2010) that the effect on the Gini is somewhat less pronounced, but might mask relevant information by being a net effect of different accumulated effects along the distribution. Country rankings based on almost all of these measures are severely affected alluding to the need for cautious interpretation when dealing with such rankings. Furthermore, the explanatory power of household structure changes along the net wealth distribution. Therefore we argue for more flexible controls for household structure. We provide such a set of controls to account for household type fixed effects which are based on the number of household members as well as possible combinations of age categories and gender.
JEL Code
D30 : Microeconomics→Distribution→General
D31 : Microeconomics→Distribution→Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
Network
Household Finance and Consumption Network (HFCN)
Annexes
1 April 2014
ANNEX
18 August 2014
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1718
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Abstract
We estimate non-cash income from owner occupied housing, subsidized rental housing, or free use of one's main residence and evaluate their impact on the unconditional distribution of household income and selected inequality measures. We confirm the standard finding in the literature that imputed rents accruing to home owners have an equalizing effect on the distribution of income and find similar evidence for non-cash income from subsidized rents. Whereas imputed rents equalize the upper part of the income distribution, subsidized housing has an equalizing effect on the lower part of the income distribution. Overall, the effect of non-cash income from owner occupied housing clearly dominates the distributional effects, which translates into a combined effect of around 15% higher income for the bottom half and around 10% for the upper half of the unconditional income distribution. Our data provide us with the rare opportunity to apply all three commonly used approaches to calculate imputed rents for owner occupiers: capital-, self-assessment and equivalent rent approach. We find that using the equivalent rent approach leads to the strongest reduction in income inequality.
JEL Code
D12 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
D14 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Household Saving; Personal Finance
D31 : Microeconomics→Distribution→Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
Network
Household Finance and Consumption Network (HFCN)
20 August 2014
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1722
Details
Abstract
Using the first wave of the Eurosystem Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS), a large micro-level dataset on households
JEL Code
D1 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics
D3 : Microeconomics→Distribution
Network
Household Finance and Consumption Network (HFCN)
17 September 2015
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1847
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Abstract
Using microdata from the Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS), this study examines the role of inheritance, income and welfare state policies in explaining differences in household net wealth within and between euro area countries. First, about one third of the households in the 13 European countries we study report having received an inheritance, and these households have considerably higher net wealth than those which did not inherit. Second, regression analyses on households' relative wealth position show that, on average, having received an inheritance lifts a household by about 14 net wealth percentiles. At the same time, each additional percentile in the income distribution is associated with about 0.4 net wealth percentiles. These results are consistent across countries. Third, multilevel cross-country regressions show that the degree of welfare state spending across countries is negatively correlated with household net wealth. These findings suggest that social services provided by the state are substitutes for private wealth accumulation and partly explain observed differences in levels of household net wealth across European countries. In particular, the effect of substitution relative to net wealth decreases with growing wealth levels. This implies that an increase in welfare state spending goes along with an increase - rather than a decrease - of observed wealth inequality.
JEL Code
D30 : Microeconomics→Distribution→General
D31 : Microeconomics→Distribution→Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
Network
Household Finance and Consumption Network (HFCN)
18 April 2019
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2270
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Abstract
We use cross-country microdata to analyse the risk taking of households in Europe and the US. Concerning the extensive as well as the intensive margin of risky assets, European households differ substantially from US households; but also inside Europe we document substantial differences. Furthermore, average risk aversion is strongly correlated with the share of households holding risky assets across countries. We decompose the observed differences into two parts. A part explainable by household characteristics as well as differences in risk aversion and a remainder. We employ the unexplained part resulting from our microeconometric decomposition analysis together with country-level variables on the economic environment to relate observed differences in risky asset holdings to institutional ones. We find that institutional differences such as shareholder protection are strongly correlated with the unexplainable differences with regard to holdings of risky assets.
JEL Code
D12 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
D14 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Household Saving; Personal Finance
D31 : Microeconomics→Distribution→Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
G11 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Portfolio Choice, Investment Decisions
Network
Household Finance and Consumption Network (HFCN)
5 January 2021
STATISTICS PAPER SERIES - No. 39
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Abstract
This study examines interviewer effects on household non-response in the three waves of the Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS) in Austria. We exploit the rare opportunity to combine this wealth survey data, accompanied by a large set of paradata on all households including non-respondents, with two other sets of data, namely (i) an administrative dataset on income and (ii) a survey on interviewer characteristics. These characteristics include measures of the social background, income and wealth, and personality traits of the interviewers. Our multilevel benchmark model shows that the proportion of the variation in response behaviour that can be explained at the interviewer level has decreased from about one-third in the first wave of the HFCS to about 7% in the third wave. Using further specifications of our multilevel model we find that the following interviewer characteristics are positively related to household response: having a university degree, being married, being a homeowner and having a less open personality. At the same time, we find a highly significant negative relationship between survey participation and mean wage in the household’s municipality
JEL Code
X01 :
X02 :
X03 :