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This conference will explore consumers' financial decision-making and the functioning of markets for financial products and services, with a focus on understanding how effective regulatory policy can protect consumers and promote effective competition. The conference will showcase cutting-edge research and bring together leading academics and policymakers to discuss consumer outcomes and implications for policy.

Keynotes will be given by John Campbell (Harvard) and Antoinette Schoar (MIT and CEPR). Other confirmed speakers to date include: Karen Croxson (FCA), Mark Egan (Harvard), Andreas Fuster (Swiss National Bank), Zanna Iscenko (FCA), Michaela Pagel (Columbia and CEPR), Daniel Paravisni (LSE and CEPR) and Tarun Ramadorai (Imperial and CEPR).

Please register your interest in attending the conference here.

Cristian Badarinza, Vimal Balasubramaniam, Tarun Ramadorai, 26 February 2019

Over the past few decades there has been great interest in taking formal finance to households around the world, especially in emerging economies. Using micro-level data from six emerging economies – China, India, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Thailand, and South Africa – this column creates harmonised measures of household assets and liabilities. The findings suggest that there is still much work to be done to truly financialise household balance sheets. There are many differences between the management of wealth between emerging economy and advanced economy households that we do not yet understand. 

Michalis Haliassos, 08 November 2017

The 2017 CEPR European Conference on Household Finance, held with the support of the Think Forward Initiative, took place on 6-7 October 2017 in Alghero, Sardinia. This column describes the papers that were presented at the workshop.

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The Think Forward Summit 2017 will focus on how to combine the innovative and scientific insights we are gathering about people, their social environment and the economy into practical solutions that will help people make better financial decisions. We will also talk about trust, given the privacy concerns related to data analytics and new developments. 

Keynote speakers will include Michael Norton, Harvard Business School professor and co-author of the book “Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending”. 

 

Romesh Vaitilingam, 17 November 2016

It is questionable whether the lessons from the relatively new field of household finance have been reflected to any great extent in the way that the banking and financial services industry works. This column introduces the Think Forward Initiative, which seeks to build a bridge between research and action. A better understanding of how and why people spend, save, invest and hold assets can act as a springboard for action to help consumers.

Olympia Bover, Jose Maria Casado, Sónia Costa, Philip Du Caju, Yvonne McCarthy, Eva Sierminska, Panagiota Tzamourani, Ernesto Villanueva, Tibor Zavadil, 08 November 2016

Household micro-data reveal striking differences in secured debt holdings across Eurozone countries. This column presents new evidence on the role of household characteristics and country institutions in accounting for the cross-country patterns observed. In countries with lengthier asset repossession periods, young or low-income households face higher borrowing costs, leading to a lower probability of holding mortgages.

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The global financial crisis has had a profound impact on output and productivity in advanced and emerging economies. In response, policymakers around the world have acted boldly with monetary policy, macro-prudential policy and regulation.

Is productivity being held back by financial factors - such as the lack of long term finance for long term investment - or is productivity being held back by real economy factors, such as globalisation and demographics? The recent crisis has also spurred a reassessment of the relationship between the level (and type) of finance and growth. Could weak productivity growth owe in part to wasteful investment spending or an undersupply of financial services? How does the mix of early and late stage financing drive investment and productivity? This conference aims to bring together perspectives on these big questions, as they will provide important guidance for future policy actions.

Francesco D'Acunto, Marcel Prokopczuk, Michael Weber, 26 February 2015

Discrimination can be costly for both victims and perpetrators. This column uses the variation of historical Jewish persecution across German counties to proxy for localised distrust in financial markets. Persecution reduces the average stock market participation rate of households by 7.5%–12%. This striking effect is stable over time, across cohorts, and across education levels. The effect survives when comparing only geographically close counties. It suggests that the persecution of minorities may negatively affect societal wealth even far into the future through the channel of intergenerationally transmitted investment norms.

Robert Townsend, 17 December 2010

Robert Townsend talks about his recent book, co-authored with Krislert Samphantharak, that analyses household finance in developing countries using integrated household surveys. Townsend describes how to create new and more comprehensive household ‘accounts’, and use them to analyse productivity, capital structure and liquidity in households. The interview was recorded in London in November 2010. [Also read the transcript]

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