The 10 years since the 2008 Lehman bankruptcy have clearly shown that global economic and financial crises present major challenges not only to banks and businesses but also to private households, requiring a high level of shock absorption capacity. Resilience of households also depends on the stability of their investment portfolios. According to the old adage, "Do not put all your eggs in one basket," diversification is an important requirement for portfolio stability. Loss risks are limited in this way. So far, little is known about whether and, if so, how the great financial and economic crisis affected the diversity of private households’ investment portfolios. The crisis changed background risks as well as the income and wealth situation of private households. Low interest rates may be an incentive to increase portfolio returns through risky under-diversification.

The project is part of the Leibniz Research Alliance (LFV) Crises in a Globalized World, Financial market and Debt Crises working group. The aim of the research project is to improve knowledge of the impact of the great financial and economic crisis on households’ asset diversification decisions. We examine whether the crisis has changed the diversity of investment portfolios and what factors are responsible for it. We focus on three eurozone countries that were hit differently by the crisis: Germany, Italy, and Spain. The database is based on the Luxembourg Wealth Study (LWS) and national household panels. The degree of diversity of the investment portfolios is captured by two common diversity indicator, Gini-Simpson and Shannon Entropy Index. Our research helps to better understand households' response to the crisis and its impact on household resilience.

The project is embedded in the general context of exploring crisis resilience of economic units and is, thus, closely linked to previous work of the LFV Crises in a Globalized World, Financial market and Debt Crises (e.g. Brinkmann, Harendt, Heinemann, Nover 2017).  There are also close relationships with research on the effects of monetary policy on the real economy and the analysis of crisis management strategies (e.g. Delatte, Fuest, Gros, Heinemann, Kocher and Tamborini 2017, and Döhrn, Dreger, Heinemann, Holtemöller, Kooths, Wollmershäuser and Yeter 2015).

Participating Institutes



Brinkmann, H.,  C. Harendt, F. Heinemann and J. Nover. 2017. Ökonomische Resilienz - Schlüsselbegriff für ein neues wirtschaftliches Leitbild? Wirtschaftsdienst 9/2017.

Download (PDF)

Delatte, A. L., C. Fuest, D. Gros, F. Heinemann, M. Kocher and R. Tamborini. 2017. The Future of Eurozone Fiscal Governance. EconPol Policy Report 06/2017.

Download (PDF)

Döhrn, R., C. Dreger, F. Heinemann, O. Holtemöller, S. Kooths, T. Wollmershäuser and M. Yeter. 2015. Fünf Jahre Euro-Krise – Eine Zwischenbilanz. Working Paper No. 1, Leibniz-Research Alliance Crises in a Globalised World.

Download (PDF)


Prof. Dr. Dorothea Schäfer (DIW)