Income, wealth and consumption: new insights from the network perspective

01 October 2017 → 30 September 2020
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Applied economics
consumption network
Project description

One of the major goals of economics is to capture and understand how people, firms and countries interact e.g. through trade, payments and lending. A natural candidate to uncover patterns in this myriad of interactions is network theory. Lately, the network approach is gaining traction in the field of economics, e.g. in the study of international trade and systemic risk. I wish
to contribute to illustrate the power of network methodologies in economics.
The crux of this project is the exclusive access of our team to the de-identified data of five million clients of a large European bank. For a ten year time span, we have monthly records of a client’s characteristics and portfolio composition. In addition we have all their financial transactions including transfers and withdrawals. This unique transaction data set constitutes a true and heretofore inaccessible treasure trove of data.
The goal of the project is to unlock the full potential of this unique proprietary data set. After mapping all details of the financial transaction network and its time evolution, we will contribute to the field of ``secular stagnation'' and to studies of the dynamics behind income and wealth inequality. Indeed, advanced network theory applied to the data set at our disposal, provides a
whole different scale, scope and time span to considerably improve on available state-of-the art studies and come up with evidence-based improved models for challenging socioeconomic issues.