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How Certain Are Dutch Households about Future Income? An Empirical Analysis


  • Das, Marcel
  • Donkers, Bas


The precautionary saving literature shows that income uncertainty increases savings and wealth. To estimate the magnitude of this effect, we need a measure of income uncertainty. This paper empirically analyzes subjective income uncertainty in The Netherlands. Data come from a large Dutch household survey. We measure income uncertainty by asking questions on expected household income in the next twelve months. First, we describe the data and investigate the relationship between the measure of income uncertainty and a number of household characteristics. Controlling for information on expected income changes, we find strong relationships between labor-market characteristics and the subjective income uncertainty as reported by the heads of the households. Second, we compare income uncertainty in The Netherlands with income uncertainty in the U.S. and Italy. It becomes evident that perceived income uncertainty is smaller in The Netherlands than it is in the U.S. Copyright 1999 by The International Association for Research in Income and Wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Das, Marcel & Donkers, Bas, 1999. "How Certain Are Dutch Households about Future Income? An Empirical Analysis," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(3), pages 325-338, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:45:y:1999:i:3:p:325-38

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Das, Marcel & van Soest, Arthur, 1999. "A panel data model for subjective information on household income growth," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 409-426, December.
    2. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
    3. Hardle, Wolfgang & Linton, Oliver, 1986. "Applied nonparametric methods," Handbook of Econometrics,in: R. F. Engle & D. McFadden (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 38, pages 2295-2339 Elsevier.
    4. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1992. "Earnings uncertainty and precautionary saving," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 307-337, November.
    5. J. Dominitz & C. F. Manski, "undated". "Using expectations data to study subjective income expectations," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1050-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    6. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1996. "Income Risk, Borrowing Constraints, and Portfolio Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 158-172, March.
    7. Stephen P. Zeldes, 1989. "Optimal Consumption with Stochastic Income: Deviations from Certainty Equivalence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 275-298.
    8. Christopher D. Carroll, 1994. "How does Future Income Affect Current Consumption?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 111-147.
    9. Das, Marcel & van Soest, Arthur, 1997. "Expected and realized income changes: Evidence from the Dutch socio-economic panel," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 137-154, January.
    10. Christopher D. Carroll, 1992. "The Buffer-Stock Theory of Saving: Some Macroeconomic Evidence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 61-156.
    11. Skinner, Jonathan, 1988. "Risky income, life cycle consumption, and precautionary savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 237-255, September.
    12. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Agar Brugiavini, 1995. "Income uncertainty and consumption growth in the UK," IFS Working Papers W95/13, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kirsanova, Tatiana & Sefton, James, 2007. "A comparison of national saving rates in the UK, US and Italy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(8), pages 1998-2028, November.
    2. Charles F. Manski & John D. Straub, 2000. "Worker Perceptions of Job Insecurity in the Mid-1990s: Evidence from the Survey of Economic Expectations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(3), pages 447-479.
    3. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Pistaferri, Luigi, 1998. "What Determines Earnings and Employment Risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 2043, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Wilbert Van der Klaauw & Wändi Bruine de Bruin & Giorgio Topa & Simon M. Potter & Michael F. Bryan, 2008. "Rethinking the measurement of household inflation expectations: preliminary findings," Staff Reports 359, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    5. R Alessie & A Kapteyn, 2001. "New data for understanding saving," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 55-69, Spring.
    6. Kapteyn, Arie & Kleinjans, Kristin J. & van Soest, Arthur, 2009. "Intertemporal consumption with directly measured welfare functions and subjective expectations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 425-437, October.
    7. Arie Kapteyn & Kristin J. Kleinjans & Arthur Van Soest, 2007. "Intertemporal Consumption with Directly Measured Welfare Functions and Subjective Expectations," Working Papers WR-535, RAND Corporation.
    8. Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2000. "The dynamics of household wealth accumulation in Italy," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 269-295, June.
    9. Alessie, R.J.M. & Hochgürtel, S. & van Soest, A.H.O., 2000. "Household Portfolios in the Netherlands," Discussion Paper 2000-55, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    10. Alessie, Rob & Kapteyn, Arie, 1999. "Wealth and savings : data and trends in the Netherlands," Serie Research Memoranda 0046, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    11. Olympia Bover, 2015. "Measuring expectations from household surveys: new results on subjective probabilities of future house prices," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 361-405, November.
    12. Kapteyn, Arie & Kleinjans, Kristin J. & van Soest, Arthur, 2009. "Intertemporal consumption with directly measured welfare functions and subjective expectations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 425-437.
    13. Jonathan Crook & Stefan Hochguertel, 2007. "US and European Household Debt and Credit Constraints," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-087/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    14. van Santen, Peter & Alessie, Rob & Kalwij, Adriaan, 2012. "Probabilistic survey questions and incorrect answers: Retirement income replacement rates," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 267-280.
    15. Luca Casolaro & Leonardo Gambacorta & Luigi Guiso, 2005. "Regulation, formal and informal enforcement and the development of the household loan market. Lessons from Italy," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 560, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    16. Veld-Merkoulova, Yulia V., 2011. "Investment horizon and portfolio choice of private investors," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 68-75, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations


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