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Household Net Wealth: An International Comparison

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  • Iris Claus
  • Grant Scobie

    ()
    (New Zealand Treasury)

Abstract

Household saving can be measured as either the difference between the flows of current income and expenditure, or through households’ balance sheets as changes in the stocks of accumulated net wealth. This paper examines household saving in New Zealand and other OECD countries, with particular focus on the stock of net wealth. The ratio of real assets to disposable income in New Zealand is close to OECD levels. However, household financial net wealth as a proportion of disposable income has been falling in New Zealand since the late 1980s, whereas it has been rising in other OECD countries. As a result, housing assets in New Zealand have become an increasing share of households' wealth portfolios. The implied savings rate from households’ balance sheets is significantly higher than the flow measure. Moreover, it follows the business cycle more closely, consistent with consumption smoothing behaviour by households.

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File URL: http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/research-policy/wp/2001/01-19/twp01-19.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by New Zealand Treasury in its series Treasury Working Paper Series with number 01/19.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nzt:nztwps:01/19

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Related research

Keywords: Household net wealth; saving; financial deregulation;

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References

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  1. Michael J. Boskin, 1988. "Issues in the Measurement and Interpretation of Saving and Wealth," NBER Working Papers 2633, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. C John McDermott & Alasdair Scott, 1999. "Concordance in business cycles," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series G99/7, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  3. John K Gibson & Grant M Scobie, 2001. "Household Saving Behaviour in New Zealand: A Cohort Analysis," Treasury Working Paper Series, New Zealand Treasury 01/18, New Zealand Treasury.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Patricia Fraser & Martin Hoesli & Lynn Mc Alevey, . "House Prices and Bubbles in New Zealand," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series, Swiss Finance Institute 06-20, Swiss Finance Institute.
  2. Enrique López Enciso & Andrés Salamanca Lugo, . "El efecto riqueza de la vivienda en Colombia," Borradores de Economia, Banco de la Republica de Colombia 551, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  3. Trinh Le, 2007. "Does New Zealand have a household saving crisis?," Macroeconomics Working Papers 23081, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  4. Iris Claus & David Haugh & Grant Scobie & Jonas Tornquist, 2001. "Saving and growth in an open economy," Treasury Working Paper Series, New Zealand Treasury 01/32, New Zealand Treasury.
  5. Skopek, Nora & Buchholz, Sandra & Blossfeld, Hans-Peter, 2011. "Wealth inequality in Europe and the delusive egalitarianism of Scandinavian countries," MPRA Paper 35307, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Mark van Zijll de Jong & Grant M. Scobie, 2006. "Housing: An Analysis of Ownership and Investment Based on the Household Savings Survey," Treasury Working Paper Series, New Zealand Treasury 06/07, New Zealand Treasury.
  7. John K Gibson & Grant M Scobie, 2001. "Household Saving Behaviour in New Zealand: A Cohort Analysis," Treasury Working Paper Series, New Zealand Treasury 01/18, New Zealand Treasury.
  8. Enrique López & Andrés Salamanca, 2009. "El efecto riqueza de la vivienda en Colombia," COYUNTURA ECONÓMICA, FEDESARROLLO, FEDESARROLLO.

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