Italian Household Wealth in a Cross-Country Perspective
24 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2008
Date Written: June 16, 2008
This paper provides a comparative analysis of household wealth in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Germany, Spain and Italy, with a special focus on the latter. First, we compare national levels of debt and financial and real wealth. Second, we analyse the composition of financial wealth in more detail, by looking at the instruments in which households invest. Third, we discuss the empirical evidence on household indebtedness. In a nutshell, in Italy household financial assets are not as large as in the US, the UK or Japan, but are larger than in other European countries. This Italian position derives from the greater importance of securities other than shares and unquoted shares and other equity in the household portfolio, while insurance technical reserves are small by international standards. Italy also has a high ratio of real wealth to disposable income. Taking into account that their debt is low, Italian household have a high net wealth among the main OECD countries.
Keywords: household wealth, portfolio choice
JEL Classification: E2, G1, G2
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