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Decomposing household wealth portfolios across countries: An age-old question?

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  • SIERMINSKA Eva
  • DOORLEY Karina

Abstract

Using harmonized wealth data and a novel decomposition approach, we show that cohort effects exist in the income pro?les of asset and debt portfolios for a sample of European countries and the U.S. We ?nd that observable characteristics explain a sizable portion of the wealth participation gap for the young in particular. Similar patterns are observed for most countries for the level of wealth held, conditional on participation. The bottom of the wealth distribution in the European countries (particularly Spain and Luxembourg) is, however, characterized by large unexplained differences to the U.S. distribution, possibly pointing to the existence of important safety nets, which shape wealth holdings in these countries. In accordance with past literature, we ?nd that institutions and other unobservables play a larger role for mature households (50 and over). We will also discuss the potential effect of the crisis on these results.

Suggested Citation

  • SIERMINSKA Eva & DOORLEY Karina, 2012. "Decomposing household wealth portfolios across countries: An age-old question?," LISER Working Paper Series 2012-32, LISER.
  • Handle: RePEc:irs:cepswp:2012-32
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    6. Janet C. Gornick & Eva Sierminska & Timothy M. Smeeding, 2009. "The Income and Wealth Packages of Older Women in Cross-National Perspective," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 64(3), pages 402-414.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luc Arrondel & Laura Bartiloro & Pirmin Fessler & Peter Lindner & Thomas Y. Mathä & Cristiana Rampazzi & Frédérique Savignac & Tobias Schmidt & Martin Schürz & Philip Vermeulen, 2016. "How Do Households Allocate Their Assets? Stylized Facts from the Eurosystem Household Finance and Consumption Survey," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 12(2), pages 129-220, June.
    2. Dimitris Christelis & Michael Ehrmann & Dimitris Georgarakos, 2015. "Exploring Differences in Household Debt Across Euro Area Countries and the United States," Staff Working Papers 15-16, Bank of Canada.
    3. Michael Ziegelmeyer, 2015. "Other real estate property in selected euro area countries," BCL working papers 99, Central Bank of Luxembourg.
    4. Dimitris Christelis & Michael Ehrmann & Dimitris Georgarakos, 2017. "Exploring Differences in Household Debt Across the United States and Euro Area Countries," CSEF Working Papers 465, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    5. Peter Lindner, 2015. "Factor decomposition of the wealth distribution in the euro area," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 42(2), pages 291-322, May.
    6. Alessio Fusco & Philippe Kerm & A. Alieva & L. Bellani & F. Etienne-Robert & A.-C. Guio & I. Kyzyma & K. Leduc & P. Liégeois & M.N.P. Alperin & A. Reinstadler & E. Sierminska & D. Sologon & P. Thill &, 2013. "GINI Country Report: Growing Inequalities and their Impacts in Luxembourg," GINI Country Reports luxembourg, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    7. Katarzyna Kochaniak, 2016. "Low interest rates - do they revise household saving motives in the Euro area?," "e-Finanse", University of Information Technology and Management, Institute of Financial Research and Analysis, vol. 12(1), pages 43-56, June.

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    Keywords

    household portfolios; decomposition; wealth;

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