About the cooperation

Mission statement

The Corona crisis is unsettling all those involved in politics, economy and society. Uncertainty creates fears and can lead to wrong decisions at all levels with considerable personal and social consequences. Against this background, the mission of the Haushaltskrisenbarometer (Household Crisis Barometer) is to collect representative and reliable information on the corona crisis from the perspective of individual households on time, to use this information in research and to make it available to the public.

The core element of the Haushaltskrisenbarometer is a comprehensive, representative and regular survey of German households. This is made possible by a research cooperation between the Frankfurt Nielsen Team, especially Dr. Kai Kopperschmidt and Alexander Proske, and the Chair of Finance and Economics, especially Calogero Brancatelli and Prof. Roman Inderst. Nielsen has now made it possible for the previous cooperation partners and Prof. Andreas Hackethal, who heads the Household Finance department at SAFE, to present jointly developed questions to the members of the Nielsen Consumer Panel described below at four-week intervals. Nielsen's team and the researchers evaluate these questions in order to make them immediately available for research and the public. In this way, a representative picture of the economic situation, (consumer) behavior and expectations of the entire population is obtained, which is always updated on time. This is enriched by insights into actual purchasing behavior based on the purchases recorded for all households, as well as by further evaluations and research results always with a focus on the perspective of the households.

The Nielsen Consumer Panel

The Nielsen Consumer Panel consists of approximately 20,000 households of which nearly 16,000 are surveyed. These households have generally been members of the panel for years and submit all their purchases in the area of so-called "everyday consumer goods" (FMCG) which includes in particular food and drugstore products, every week. The households are also regularly asked questions. A unique feature of the cooperation is the frequency of the questions asked, currently every four weeks, and the immediate forwarding of information to the participating researchers who then make evaluations immediately available to the public.

Thus, the survey is characterized by the high number of households continuously questioned, but also by the possibility of making the answers representative by means of statistical methods. The latter succeeds because Nielsen has a great deal of information on the individual household members, such as their age, education or employment circumstances which is used for a representative extrapolation of the answers. This must also be taken into account when interpreting the results since the respective percentages by no means represent only the share among the respondents, but already the extrapolated shares of the population. For example, if of all households in a round of questions, for whatever reason, predominantly young households participate, a "naked" analysis of the proportions among the respondents would only give a distorted picture of society as a whole which is, however, corrected by appropriate extrapolation.

The questions

The questions range from the current economic situation to fears and expectations for the future. The following questions are currently being evaluated from the questions asked:

Questions on income as well as consumption and savings behavior

  • Has the monthly net income of the main wage earner(s) changed significantly compared to before the crisis?
  • How do you expect the monthly net income of the main wage earner(s) in your household to change over the next six months compared to today?
  • Due to the corona virus, do you plan to restrict yourself in the future for essential purchases (more than 250 euro)?
  • Are you currently saving a larger, smaller or roughly the same proportion of disposable household income than before the crisis?

Questions on the impairment of work and business activities (to employees and self-employed persons)

  • Has there been a change in the employment circumstances of the main wage earner in your household in the last four weeks?
  • Do you work or will you work increasingly from home or remotely due to the corona virus?

Questions about general behavior and well-being

  • Do you avoid the public because of the corona virus?
  • Are you very insecure because of the corona virus?
  • Are you afraid that your health is in danger because of the corona virus?
  • Do you think that the press reports about Corona are completely exaggerated?