nr 090 - Households’ Response to Wealth Changes: Do Gains or Losses make a Difference?

DNB Working Papers
Date 26 February 2006

We estimate the excess impact of financial asset capital losses relative to gains on household active savings and durable goods consumption in the Netherlands. The sample period covers both the stock market boom during the 90’s, and the bear period afterwards. The results suggest that households react more to capital losses than to capital gains. Failing to take into account this asymmetry may seriously bias the estimates of the marginal propensity to consume out of wealth. JEL classification: D12, E21. Keywords: Household savings, wealth effect, capital gains