La ricchezza delle famiglie italiane e americane
The paper compares Italian and American householdsï¿½ wealth in 1998. The analysis is based on the Survey on Household Income and Wealth (Bank of Italy) and on the Survey of Consumer Finances (Federal Reserve Board). Tangible assets appear to be the main wealth component in both countries. In the United States households hold a higher share of financial assets and show a greater propensity to invest in more diversified and risky portfolios. American households also have a stronger tendency to resort to debt. In both countries the level and the composition of wealth seems to be correlated with similar householdsï¿½ characteristics. Wealth increases with the age of the head of household and his/her level of education; it is also higher for households headed by the self-employed. Furthermore, richer and more educated households exhibit a higher probability of holding a complex financial portfolio.The differences between the two countries do not seem to be significantly explained by demographics. Moreover, the US shows a greater wealth inequality apparently not balanced by a higher degree of wealth mobility.
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