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Financial imbalances and household welfare: empirical evidence from the EU

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  • Stracca, Livio

Abstract

This paper uses Eurobarometer survey data from 26 EU countries to evaluate whether the general public cares about financial stability and imbalances over and above their effects on key macroeconomic variables such as unemployment and inflation. I confirm previous results in the literature that life satisfaction - a widely used measure of household welfare - negatively depends on the unemployment rate. In addition to previous results in the literature, I establish a strong empirical link between life satisfaction and consumer confidence as measured by the European Commission consumer survey. The main result of the paper is that life satisfaction generally does not systematically depend on a number of measures of financial imbalance based on credit and asset prices once the other macroeconomic controls are included. JEL Classification: E6

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1543.

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Date of creation: May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20131543

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Keywords: Central Bank; Consumer Confidence; Eurobarometer; financial stability; life satisfaction;

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  1. Fabio Fornari & Livio Stracca, 2012. "What does a financial shock do? First international evidence," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 27(71), pages 407-445, 07.
  2. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2003. "Macroeconomic Priorities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 1-14, March.
  3. Di Tella, R. & MacCulloch, R.J.: Oswald, A.J., 1997. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," Papers 19, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  4. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2008. "Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 1-102.
  5. Néstor Gándelman & Rubén Hernández-Murillo, 2009. "The impact of inflation and unemployment on subjective personal and country evaluations," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 107-126.
  6. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2006. "Some Uses of Happiness Data in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 25-46, Winter.
  7. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2007. "Happiness, Contentment and Other Emotions for Central Banks," NBER Working Papers 13622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Mathias Drehmann & Claudio Borio & Kostas Tsatsaronis, 2011. "Anchoring countercyclical capital buffers: the role of credit aggregates," BIS Working Papers 355, Bank for International Settlements.
  9. Becchetti, Leonardo & Castriota, Stefano & Giuntella, Giovanni Osea, 2010. "The effects of age and job protection on the welfare costs of inflation and unemployment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 137-146, March.
  10. Buiter, Willem H., 2012. "The Role of Central Banks in Financial Stability: How has it changed?," CEPR Discussion Papers 8780, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Robert B. Barsky & Eric R. Sims, 2009. "Information, Animal Spirits, and the Meaning of Innovations in Consumer Confidence," NBER Working Papers 15049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Alessi, Lucia & Detken, Carsten, 2011. "Quasi real time early warning indicators for costly asset price boom/bust cycles: A role for global liquidity," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 520-533, September.
  13. John C. Driscoll & Aart C. Kraay, 1998. "Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation With Spatially Dependent Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 549-560, November.
  14. Kyle Chauvin & David Laibson & Johanna Mollerstrom, 2011. "Asset Bubbles and the Cost of Economic Fluctuations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 233-260, 08.
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