Curtin University Scholarship Information – 2023 HDR Curtin round

Curtin University Scholarship Information – 2023 HDR Curtin round

2023 HDR Curtin round – How do individuals allocate their household portfolios, and how is this affected by total household financial wealth?

Status: Open

Applications open: 8/07/2022

Applications close: 18/08/2022

About this scholarship

Description/Applicant information

A major objective of the study will be to investigate how/if the allocation of household financial assets are behaviourally affected by overall/total household wealth. Whilst household financial portfolio allocation has attracted much interest in the literature, it invariably focuses on the propensity to hold only a single asset type. A significant contribution here is to explore how total financial wealth (TFW) is allocated across a whole portfolio, but importantly recognising that the shares are driven, in part, by the aggregate. The approach allows for the possibility that when allocating monetary resources, households consider an overall amount that should be allocated to financial assets, as well as the proportions of their resources allocated to, for example, safe assets (savings accounts), medium risk assets (bonds) and high risk assets (stocks/shares). The study will focus on the Australian Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, but also the US Survey of Consumer Finances, and the UK Wealth and Assets Survey. A further interesting angle that the PhD student will investigate, is that although at time zero, allocation shares will be driven by TFW, these shares themselves will then affect future levels of TFW.

In so-doing, the project will develop new modelling methods, which will be of wide-use across all areas utilising data science techniques.

With respect to household finances, the project will shed further light on how households allocate their wealth across different types of assets. A stylised fact in the household finance literature, referred to as the ‘stock holding puzzle’, is the inclination of households not to hold risky assets even when faced with a historical equity premium. Moreover, recent theoretical work suggests that the composition of household portfolios is of interest to policymakers: for example, showing how under-diversified household portfolios can lead to lower economic growth. Hence, encouraging greater diversification of household portfolios may consequently result in benefits beyond improving household finances.

An Internship opportunity may be available with this project.

Student type

  • Future Students


  • Faculty of Business and Law

Course type

  • Higher Degree by Research


  • Australian Citizen
  • Australian Permanent Resident
  • New Zealand Citizen
  • Permanent Humanitarian Visa
  • International Student

Scholarship base

  • Merit Based


The annual scholarship package (stipend and tuition fees) is approx. $60,000 – $70,000 p.a.

Successful HDR applicants for admission will receive a 100% fee offset for up to 4 years, stipend scholarships, valued at $28,854 p.a. for up to a maximum of 3.5 years, are determined via a competitive selection process. Applicants will be notified of the scholarship outcome in November 2022.

Scholarship Details

Maximum number awarded


Eligible courses

All applicable HDR courses

Eligibility criteria

+ Working knowledge of Economics and an interest in household finances

+ Experienced in Econometric/Statistical Methods/Data Science concepts

+ Familiarity with one or more statistical packages such as Stata, SAS, R, and Python.

Enrolment requirements

Eligible to enrol in a Higher Degree by Research Course at Curtin University by March 2023

How to apply

Application process

If this project excites you, and your research skills and experience are a good fit for this specific project, you should contact the Project Lead (listed below in the enquires section) via the Expression of Interest (EOI) form.

Need more information?


To enquire about this project opportunity that includes a scholarship application, contact the Project lead, Professor Mark Harris via the EOI form above.


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