Futuribles Journal n° 347

Économie, emploi

The Assets Held by French Households. A Key Element Requiring Interpretation

Whereas many analysts are forecasting a deterioration of the French economic situation in the short term, the assets held by French people must be taken into account if we are to have a comprehensive view of the situation. But what do we know about these assets? What are they based on and who is involved?
In this article, Charles du Granrut has studied the assets held by French households. He presents here the long-term trends in those holdings, the way they are evaluated, their main characteristics (mainly the preponderance of residential property), their distribution among the French population, the role they could play in the management of the risks with which households are likely to be confronted etc. This very detailed analysis enables us to grasp both the central place and the great complexity of asset holdings, the composition and accumulation of which remain very much linked to the psychology and life itineraries of individuals, as do the strategies for their allocation. However, if it is highly probable that they will play an increased role in intergenerational relations and in covering life risks (such as dependency), we must nevertheless keep in mind - alongside a certain ignorance on the part of individuals in respect of their asset holdings and the use they can make of them - the very great inequality of their distribution, which prevents them being used as a universal instrument in respect, for example, of social insurance needs.

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