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The Determinants of Savings: Lessons from Italy

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  • Tullio Jappelli
  • Marco Pagano

Abstract

In most of the postwar period Italy featured an abnormally high saving rate in comparison to that of most other industrialized countries. But this is no longer true. Under any definition, in the last decade the Italian saving rate has fallen below the average of the developed economies. Why was the Italian saving ratio comparatively high and why has its decline been so dramatic? In this paper we consider various potential answers to these questions. We particularly focus on the recent slowdown in productivity growth, the development of credit and insurance markets, and changes in the social security system. In the second part of the paper we use a series of repeated cross-sections from the Survey of Household Income and Wealth in order to determine whether the macroeconomic explanations for the decline in saving are consistent with microeconomic data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 3012.

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Date of creation: Nov 1997
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:3012

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  1. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1989. "Consumption and Capital Market Imperfections: An International Comparison," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1088-1105, December.
  2. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1991. "Why is Italy's Savings Rate So High?," CEPR Discussion Papers 572, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1995. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-02, McMaster University.
  4. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1991. "A sensitivity analysis of cross-country growth regressions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 609, The World Bank.
  5. Christopher D. Carroll & David N. Weil, 1993. "Saving and growth: a reinterpretation," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 140, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Modigliani, Franco, 1985. "Life Cycle, Individual Thrift and the Wealth of Nations," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1985-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
  7. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1992. "Saving, Growth and Liquidity Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 662, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Jappelli, Tullio, 1995. "Does social security reduce the accumulation of private wealth? Evidence from Italian survey data," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 1-31, March.
  9. Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244.
  10. Christina Paxson, 1995. "Saving and Growth: Evidence from Micro Data," NBER Working Papers 5301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Rossi, Nicola & Visco, Ignazio, 1995. "National saving and social security in Italy," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 329-356, December.
  12. Hayashi, Fumio & Ito, Takatoshi & Slemrod, Joel, 1988. "Housing finance imperfections, taxation, and private saving: A comparative simulation analysis of the United States and Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 215-238, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Andrea Butelmann & Francisco Gallego, 2001. "Estimaciones de los determinantes del ahorro coluntario de los hogares en Chile (1988-1997)," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Felipe Morandé & Rodrigo Vergara & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Edi (ed.), Análisis Empírico del Ahorro en Chile, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 141-190 Central Bank of Chile.
  2. Andrea Butelmann & Francisco Gallego, 2001. "Estimaciones de los Determinantes del Ahorro Voluntario de los Hogares en Chile (1988 Y 1997)," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 97, Central Bank of Chile.
  3. G�nther Fink & Silvia Redaelli, 2005. "Understanding Bequest Motives An Empirical Analysis of Intergenerational Transfers," DNB Working Papers 042, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  4. Caterina Mendicino, 2005. "Credit Market Development, Asset Prices and Business Cycle," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2005 74, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.

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