Household portfolio decision in low interest rate environments

The objective of this project is to compare how individuals make portfolio decisions in a low interest rate environment in the Netherlands and Norway. The units of analysis are individuals in the respective countries. We use two administrative datasets, which cover the complete population from 2005-2018 for the Netherlands, and from 1993-2017 for Norway. During this period, both countries experienced large fluctuations in short-term interest rates. In the Netherlands, the interest rate fluctuated between 0-5 percent, while in Norway it fluctuated between 1-8 percent. From the perspective of individual investors, the attractiveness of safe and liquid assets, such as bank deposits and money market instruments, may depend heavily on the rates of return on these assets compared to other assets. We therefore conjecture that in our sample period, many individual investors rebalanced their portfolios by redeploying capital away or toward safe assets.

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