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Vulnerabilità e benessere delle famiglie italiane

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  • Daniela VANDONE


Vulnerability and well-being of Italian households. The sharp rise in interest rates on loans and the concurrent phase of stagnation/recession created wide scale financial and economic difficulties for Italian households. These difficulties have raised questions as to the risk Italian households face of not being able to face the financial and economic needs of everyday life and/or loan commitments contracted with banks or other types of lenders. We conducted a survey with the aim: i) to create an index to measure households’ financial vulnerability that can be used to monitor developments in the phenomenon over time; ii) to create a panel of Italian households for periodic studies of the conditions of financial vulnerability; iii) to analyse the determinants of financial vulnerability; iv) to investigate the socio-demographic, economic and behavioural characteristics of groups of homogeneous individuals by degree of financial vulnerability. The innovative feature of this work is the creation of an indicator of financial vulnerability aimed at synthesizing different profiles of household financial instability. A total number of 3,102 Italian households make up the sample. Empirical estimates show interesting results: for the median level of the financial vulnerability index households already exhibit some important symptoms of financial vulnerability, such as problems in getting to the end of the month or an inability to face unexpected expenses. , With regards the determinants of the financial vulnerability index, as expected, a mix of factors is relevant in determining household financial vulnerability. Three main findings need to be pointed out. First, the level of debt servicing is positively related to financial vulnerability and the effect is stronger for households holding unsecured debt, i. e. consumer credit. Second, financial vulnerability also increases for impulsive individuals, who may adopt impatient, short-sighted behaviour patterns which make it difficult for them to be fully aware of the consequences of their financial and spending decisions. Third, a higher level of education helps to reduce financial fragility.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2011-40.

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Date of creation: 26 Dec 2011
Handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2011-40
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