Dissaving by the Elderly, Transfer Motives and Liquidity Constraints
AbstractTwo explanations have been proposed for the observed slowness of wealth decumulation by the elderly in the literature: the precautionary saving induced by (uninsurable) uncertainty about the time of death or by the possibility of major catastrophes in old age that require large outlays; the desire to pass part of the accumulated assets on to one's heirs. We reconsider the issue of wealth decumulation by the elderly and assess the presence of a transfer motive, drawing on Italian data. We show that if intergenerational transfer of assets takes place well before the time of death, induced for instance by existence of liquidity constraints on younger families, then tests for the presence of a transfer motive based on the relative speed of decumulation of elderly households with and without a potential bequest motive might have little discriminatory power. We suggest that in this case one should look at the whole pattern of asset accumulation and decumulation. We also offer an alternative test of the bequest motive based on life insurance purchases.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4569.
Date of creation: Dec 1993
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
- E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Laitner, John, 1993. "Long-run equilibria with borrowing constraints and altruism," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 65-96.
- Barca, F. & Cannari, L. & Guiso, L., 1992. "Bequests and Saving for Retirement. What Impels the Accumulation of Wealth," Papers 165, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
- Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1992.
"Earnings Uncertainty and Precautionary Saving,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
699, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1989.
"Intergenerational Transfers and Savings,"
NBER Working Papers
2237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-46, June.
- Deaton, Angus, 1991.
"Saving and Liquidity Constraints,"
Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1221-48, September.
- Ohtake, F., 1991. "Bequest Motives of Aged Households in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0249, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
- Modigliani, Franco, 1986.
"Life Cycle, Individual Thrift, and the Wealth of Nations,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 297-313, June.
- Modigliani, Franco, 1985. "Life Cycle, Individual Thrift and the Wealth of Nations," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1985-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
- 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.
- Hurd, Michael D, 1987. "Savings of the Elderly and Desired Bequests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 298-312, June.
- Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio, 1991. "Intergenerational transfers and capital market imperfections : Evidence from a cross-section of Italian households," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 103-120, January.
- Fischer, Stanley, 1973. "A Life Cycle Model of Life Insurance Purchases," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(1), pages 132-52, February.
- Shorrocks, A F, 1975. "The Age-Wealth Relationship: A Cross-Section and Cohort Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 57(2), pages 155-63, May.
- Mauro Baranzini, 2005. "Modigliani's life-cycle theory of savings fifty years later," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 58(233-234), pages 109-172.
- Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli, 1999.
"Private Transfers, Borrowing Constraints and the Timing of Homeownership,"
CSEF Working Papers
17, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
- Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio, 2002. "Private Transfers, Borrowing Constraints and the Timing of Homeownership," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(2), pages 315-39, May.
- Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio, 1998. "Private Transfers, Borrowing Constraints and the Timing of Homeownership," CEPR Discussion Papers 2050, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 1999.
"The Dynamics of Household Wealth Accumulation in Italy,"
CSEF Working Papers
27, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 01 Dec 2000.
- Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2000. "The dynamics of household wealth accumulation in Italy," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 269-295, June.
- Mauro Baranzini, 2005. "Modigliani's life-cycle theory of savings fifty years later," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 58(233-234), pages 109-172.
- Albert Ando & Andrea Moro, 1995. "Demographic Dynamics, Labor Force Participation and Household Asset Accumulation: Case of Japan," NBER Working Papers 5261, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ernesto Villanueva, 2005. "Inter vivos transfers and bequests in three OECD countries," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 20(43), pages 505-565, 07.
- Elsa Fornero & Maria Cristina Rossi & Maria Cesira Urzì Brancati, 2011. "Explaining why, right or wrong, (Italian) households do not like reverse mortgages," CeRP Working Papers 123, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
- Albert Ando & Sergio Nicoletti-Altimari, 2004. "A micro simulation model of demographic development and households' economic behavior in Italy," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 533, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.