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The Financial Decisions of Immigrant and Native Households: Evidence from Italy

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  • Bertocchi, Graziella
  • Brunetti, Marianna
  • Zaiceva, Anzelika

Abstract

Using rich Italian data for the period 2006-2014, we document sizeable gaps between native and immigrant households with respect to wealth holdings and financial decisions. Immigrant household heads hold less net wealth than native, but only above the median of the wealth distribution, with housing as the main driver. Immigrant status reduces the likelihood of holding risky assets, housing, mortgages, businesses, and valuables, while it increases the likelihood of financial fragility. Years since migration, countries of origin, and the pattern of intermarriage also matter. The Great Recession has worsened the condition of immigrants in terms of wealth holdings, home ownership, and financial fragility.

Suggested Citation

  • Bertocchi, Graziella & Brunetti, Marianna & Zaiceva, Anzelika, 2018. "The Financial Decisions of Immigrant and Native Households: Evidence from Italy," GLO Discussion Paper Series 280, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:280
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    3. Francesca Arnaboldi, Francesca Gioia, 2019. "Portfolio choice: Evidence from new-borns," Centro Studi di Banca e Finanza (CEFIN) (Center for Studies in Banking and Finance) 0078, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Economia "Marco Biagi".
    4. Syed Hasan & Nazmun Ratna & Shamim Shakur, 2019. "Exchange rate, remittances and expenditure of foreign-bornhouseholds: evidence from Australia," Discussion Papers 1901, School of Economics and Finance, Massey University, New Zealand.
    5. Fleck, Johannes & Monninger, Adrian, 2020. "Culture and portfolios: trust, precautionary savings and home ownership," Working Paper Series 2457, European Central Bank.
    6. Hasan, Syed & Shakur, Shamim & Breunig, Robert, 2021. "Exchange rates and expenditure of households with foreign-born members: Evidence from Australia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 188(C), pages 977-997.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigrants; household finance; wealth; financial portfolios; Great Recession;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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