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Differences in Euro-Area Household Finances and their Relevance for Monetary-Policy Transmission

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  • Thomas Hintermaier
  • Winfried Koeniger

Abstract

This paper quantifies the extent of heterogeneity in consumption responses to changes in real interest rates and house prices in the four largest economies in the euro area: France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. We first calibrate a life-cycle incomplete-markets model with a liquid financial asset and illiquid housing to match the large heterogeneity of households asset portfolios, observed in the Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS) for these countries. We then show that the heterogeneity in household finances implies that responses of consumption to changes in the real interest rate and in house prices differ substantially across the analyzed countries, and across age groups within these countries. The different consumption responses quantified in this paper point towards important heterogeneity in monetary-policy transmission within the euro area.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Hintermaier & Winfried Koeniger, 2018. "Differences in Euro-Area Household Finances and their Relevance for Monetary-Policy Transmission," CESifo Working Paper Series 7088, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7088
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    European household portfolios; consumption; monetary policy transmission; international comparative finance; housing;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D15 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Intertemporal Household Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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