The Real Assets of Italian Households
16 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2008
Date Written: June 16, 2008
Official estimates of households' real assets are not available in Italy. Earlier research that reconstructed this component of wealth overlooked the components related to the activities of producer households. This paper presents a method for obtaining a valuation of the components of the real assets related to households business activities. Using this new methodology, the value of households' real assets was found to be euro 4,936 billion in 2005. The bulk of these assets consisted of dwellings (euro 3,887 billion) while nearly 20 per cent consisted of assets belonging to producer households. The macro estimates of real wealth were then compared with the Bank of Italy's SHIW (Survey on Households' Income and Wealth) data available for 2004. The comparison with the macroeconomic estimates shows that the survey can estimate them with a fair degree of accuracy. For 2004 the sample estimates were equal to about 88 per cent of the macro estimates. The "rate of overlap" was particularly high for dwellings (93 per cent), the stock of capital, inventories and goodwill (89 per cent) and valuables (81 per cent). By contrast, the SHIW estimates were less able to capture the property component linked to the activities of producer households. In fact land and non-residential buildings had rates of overlap of 63 and 52 per cent respectively.
Keywords: households, wealth, real assets
JEL Classification: D31, E21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation