Household Finance

Household fi nancial decisions are complex, interdependent, and heterogeneous, and central to the functioning of the fi nancial system. We present an overview of the rapidly expanding literature on household finance (with some important exceptions) and suggest directions for future research. We begin with the theory and empirics of asset market participation and asset allocation over the lifecycle. We then discuss household choices in insurance markets, trading behavior, decisions on retirement saving, and fi nancial choices by retirees. We survey research on liabilities, including mortgage choice, re financing, and default, and household behavior in unsecured credit markets, including credit cards and payday lending. We then connect the household to its social environment, including peer effects, cultural and hereditary factors, intra-household fi nancial decision making, fi nancial literacy, cognition and educational interventions. We also discuss literature on the provision and consumption of financial advice.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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