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Measuring expectations from household surveys: new results on subjective probabilities of future house prices

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  • Olympia Bover

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Abstract

I analyze new data on subjective probabilistic expectations on house prices collected in the Spanish Survey of Household Finances. Households are asked to distribute ten points among five different scenarios for the change in the price of their homes over the next 12 months. This paper is the first empirical study to document the beliefs of a representative sample of households about the future value of their homes. It also reviews the methodology of expectation measurement and recent work on household subjective probabilities. I model individual subjective probability densities using splines, construct quantiles from those densities, and analyze how the heterogeneity in the individual distributions relates to differences in housing and household characteristics. An important result of the paper is that women are more optimistic about the evolution of house prices than men. Location at the postal code level accounts for a large fraction of the variation in the subjective distributions across households. Finally, I provide some results on how subjective expectations matter for predicting spending behavior. Housing investment and car purchases are negatively associated with pessimistic expectations about future house price changes and with uncertainty about those expectations. Copyright The Author(s) 2015

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:series:v:6:y:2015:i:4:p:361-405
    DOI: 10.1007/s13209-015-0136-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. M. Hashem Pesaran & Ida Johnsson, 2016. "Double-question Survey Measures for the Analysis of Financial Bubbles and Crashes," CESifo Working Paper Series 6272, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Armona, Luis & Fuster, Andreas & Zafar, Basit, 2016. "Home price expectations and behavior: evidence from a randomized information experiment," Staff Reports 798, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Household subjective probabilistic expectations; House price expectations; Gender bias; Consumption; Portfolio decisions; C81; D84; D12; D14; R21;

    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
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand

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