Household Saving Behaviour and Credit Constraints in the Euro Area
33 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2014
Date Written: July 1, 2014
We study the role of household saving behaviour, of individual motives for saving and that of perceived liquidity constraints in 15 Euro Area countries. The empirical analysis is based on the Household Finance and Consumption Survey, a new harmonized data set collecting detailed information on wealth holdings, consumption and income at the household level. Since the data is from 2010-2011, strong conclusions as regards the present are difficult to draw. This is because the crisis may have affected the data, especially in countries that were severely hit. Nevertheless we find evidence of some degree of homogeneity across countries with respect to saving preferences and the relative importance of different motives for saving. In addition, credit constraints are more heterogeneous across geographic regions and perceived to be binding for specific groups of respondents. Households living in Mediterranean countries report to be more subject to binding liquidity constraints than households living in Continental Europe. Household characteristics and institutional macroeconomic variables are significant and economically important determinants of household saving preferences and credit constraints.
Keywords: Household Finance and Consumption, Life Cycle Saving, Survey Data
JEL Classification: C8, D12, D14, D91
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