How Do Households Allocate Their Assets? Stylised Facts from the Eurosystem Household Finance and Consumption Survey

50 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2014

See all articles by Luc Arrondel

Luc Arrondel

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Laura Bartiloro

Bank of Italy

Pirmin Fessler

Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB)

Peter Lindner

Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB)

Thomas Mathae

Banque de France

Cristiana Rampazzi

Bank of Italy

Frederique Savignac

University Paris-Est Créteil (UPEC)

Tobias Schmidt

Deutsche Bundesbank - Research Center

Martin Schuerz

Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB)

Philip Vermeulen

European Central Bank (ECB)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 8, 2014

Abstract

Using the first wave of the Eurosystem Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS), a large micro-level dataset on households’ balance sheets in 15 euro area countries, this paper explores how households allocate their assets. We derive stylised facts on asset participation as well as levels of asset holdings and investigate the systematic relationships between household characteristics and asset holding patterns. Real assets make up the bulk of total assets. Whereas ownership of the main residence varies strongly between countries, the value of the main residence tends to be the major asset for homeowners and represents a significant part of total assets in all countries. While almost all households hold safe financial assets, a low share of households holds risky assets. The ownership rates of all asset categories generally increase with wealth (and income). The significance of inheritances for home ownership and holding of other real estate is remarkable. We tentatively link differences in asset holding patterns across countries to differences in institutions, such as mortgage market institutions and house price-to-rent ratios.

Keywords: household financial decisions, individual portfolio choice, real and financial assets, cross-country comparisons

JEL Classification: D1, D3

Suggested Citation

Arrondel, Luc and Bartiloro, Laura and Fessler, Pirmin and Lindner, Peter and Mathae, Thomas and Rampazzi, Cristiana and Savignac, Frederique and Schmidt, Tobias and Schuerz, Martin and Vermeulen, Philip, How Do Households Allocate Their Assets? Stylised Facts from the Eurosystem Household Finance and Consumption Survey (August 8, 2014). ECB Working Paper No. 1722. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2477734

Luc Arrondel (Contact Author)

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

Laura Bartiloro

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
00184 Roma
Italy

Pirmin Fessler

Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) ( email )

Otto-Wagner-Platz 3, PO Box 61
Vienna,
1010 Vienna, A-1011
Austria

Peter Lindner

Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) ( email )

Otto-Wagner-Platz 3, PO Box 61
Vienna,
1010 Vienna, A-1011
Austria

Thomas Mathae

Banque de France ( email )

Paris
France

Cristiana Rampazzi

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184
Italy

Frederique Savignac

University Paris-Est Créteil (UPEC) ( email )

61 avenue du General de Gaulle
Creteil cedex, 94010
France

Tobias Schmidt

Deutsche Bundesbank - Research Center ( email )

Wilhelm-Epstein-Str. 14
Frankfurt/Main, 60431
Germany

Martin Schuerz

Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) ( email )

Otto-Wagner-Platz 3, PO Box 61
Vienna,
1010 Vienna, A-1011
Austria

Philip Vermeulen

European Central Bank (ECB) ( email )

Sonnemannstrasse 22
Frankfurt am Main, 60314
Germany

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