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Differences in Portfolios across Countries: Economic Environment versus Household Characteristics

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Author Info

  • Dimitris Christelis

    (CSEF and CFS)

  • Dimitris Georgarakos

    (Goethe University Frankfurt and CFS)

  • Michael Haliassos

    (Goethe University Frankfurt, CFS and CEPR)

Abstract

We use cross-country microdata and counterfactual methods to document international differences in ownership and holdings of stocks, private businesses, homes, and mortgages among older households in thirteen countries. We decompose these differences into two parts, related to population characteristics and economic environments. Shortly prior to the recent financial crisis, U.S. households tended to invest more in stocks and less in homes and to have larger mortgages than Europeans of similar characteristics. Differences in ownership and amounts are primarily linked to differences in economic environments that are more pronounced among European countries than among U.S. regions, suggesting considerable potential for harmonization. © 2013 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 220-236

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:95:y:2013:i:1:p:220-236

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Related research

Keywords: household finance; aging; stockholding; private business; housing; mortgages; counterfactual decompositions;

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References

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  1. Joao Cocco & John Campbell, 2004. "Household Risk Management and Optimal Mortgage Choice," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings, Econometric Society 632, Econometric Society.
  2. Mervyn A. King & Jonathan I. Leape, 1984. "Wealth and Portfolio Composition: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 1468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Agar Brugiavini & Tullio Jappelli & Guglielmo Weber, 2002. "The Survey on Health, Aging and Wealth," CSEF Working Papers, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy 86, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  4. Alexander Michaelides & Francisco J. Gomes, 2005. "Optimal life cycle asset allocation : understanding the empirical evidence," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 193, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Michael Haliassos & Dimitris Georgarakos & Yiannis Bilias, 2006. "Equity Culture and the Distribution of Wealth," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006, Society for Computational Economics 27, Society for Computational Economics.
  6. Bilias, Yannis & Georgarakos, Dimitris & Haliassos, Michael, 2006. "Portfolio inertia and stock market fluctuations," CFS Working Paper Series, Center for Financial Studies (CFS) 2006/14, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  7. Dimitris Christelis & Tullio Jappelli & Mario Padula, 2008. "Cognitive Abilities and Portfolio Choice," Working Papers, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari" 2008_19, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  8. Haliassos, Michalis & Michaelides, Alexander, 2001. "Portfolio Choice and Liquidity Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 2822, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. John Y. Campbell, 2006. "Household Finance," NBER Working Papers 12149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison L. Booth & Mark L. Bryan, 2007. "Is There a Glass Ceiling over Europe? Exploring the Gender Pay Gap across the Wage Distribution," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(2), pages 163-186, January.
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