The Index of Household Financial Condition, Combining Subjective and Objective Indicators: An Appraisal of Italian Households
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With data from the Italian Survey of Household Income and Wealth, we present an Index of Household Financial Condition and quantify with it the position of households between 2004 and 2010. The Index of Household Financial Condition is composed of subjective and objective indicators, which enable to capture differently the existing uncertainty concerning the future development of a household’s financial situation. We show with a measurement model based on multi-group confirmatory factor analysis (MGCFA) that the proposed Index is two-dimensional and comprises financial position and financial prudence. Through application of the MGCFA, we show that the interrelations between the indicators had not changed at four measurement occasions (2004–2010), and thus the proposed set comprises a coherent and time-invariant framework for measuring two dimensions of the latent concept: financial condition. Established measurement invariance in the MGCFA framework allows an assessment of trend in financial position and financial prudence of Italian households. We show that the financial position of Italian households improved in the period 2004–2006 and later declined. Improvement of the financial prudence was observed, however, till 2008. Finally, we incorporate a set of socioeconomic features of Italian households into a structural equation model. With the provided set of indicators, we find positive relation between age and both financial position and prudence, but also we show the positive impact of white-collar jobs on scores in each of the dimensions of the financial condition.
KeywordsFinancial situation Households Index Measurement invariance Multi-group confirmatory factor analysis
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