Quotation Rapp, Severin. 2021. Asset Bias in Household Needs Measurement.




Increasingly, the estimation of household equivalence scales relies on subjec-tive data. This approach challenges not only traditional methodology, but alsoprovides systematically lower estimates of household needs compared to othermethods. I offer a novel take on this puzzle and argue that the failure to accountfor private wealth in subjective measurement is part of the explanation of whyhousehold financial needs appear to be low. Wealthy survey respondents claimto be satisfied with less income, as they can draw on their asset buffer to main-tain a given living standard. Capitalising on SOEP survey data, I find that thefinancial needs of a household comprising five members relative to a referencehousehold might be underestimated by up to 20% if wealth is not accountedfor. Equivalence scales are central to poverty and inequality measurement, thedesign of social transfer systems and many other applications. Therefore, it iscrucial to account for asset ownership when drawing on estimates that rely onthe subjective methodology.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Working/discussion paper, preprint
Language English
Title Asset Bias in Household Needs Measurement
Year 2021
URL https://epub.wu.ac.at/8138/1/Rapp_2021_INEQ_WP_22.pdf


Rapp, Severin (Details)
Department of Economics (Crespo Cuaresma) (Details)
Economics of Inequality FI (Details)
Research areas (Ă–STAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5341 Economic policy (Details)
5405 Empirical social research (Details)
5427 Poverty research, social exclusion (Details)
5911 Social policy (Details)
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