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The Life-Cycle Hypothesis, Fiscal Policy, and Social Security

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The paper reviews some of the most important results of the Life Cycle Hypothesis for understanding individual and aggregate saving behaviour. It then turns to the implications for fiscal policy and social security, highlighting Modigliani’s seminal contributions. Over time competing theories have emerged, and some empirical findings are difficult to reconcile with LCH; chiefly aspects of inertia, myopia, and irrational behaviour documented by the recent behavioural literature. But the LCH is still the benchmark model to think about individual saving decisions, the aggregate evidence and policy issues.

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Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 140.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2005
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Publication status: Published in Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, June-September 2005, vol. 58, issue 233-243, pages 173-86
Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:140

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  1. Feldstein, Martin S, 1976. "Social Security and Saving: The Extended Life Cycle Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 77-86, May.
  2. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Martin Feldstein & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2001. "Social Security," NBER Working Papers 8451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
  4. Modigliani, Franco, 1988. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers and Life Cycle Saving in the Accumulation of Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 15-40, Spring.
  5. 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.
  6. Rossi, Nicola & Visco, Ignazio, 1995. "National saving and social security in Italy," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 329-356, December.
  7. Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244.
  8. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 706-32, August.
  9. Dreze, Jacques H. & Modigliani, Franco, 1972. "Consumption decisions under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 308-335, December.
  10. Tullio Jappelli & Franco Modigliani, 1998. "The Age-Saving Profile and the Life-Cycle Hypothesis," CSEF Working Papers 09, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  11. Modigliani, Franco. & Sterling, Arlie., 1981. "Determinants of private saving with special reference to the role of social security : cross country tests," Working papers 1209-81., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  12. Modigliani,Franco, 2011. "The Debate Over Stabilization Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521189705, October.
  13. Modigliani, Franco & Sterling, Arlie, 1986. "Government Debt, Government Spending and Private Sector Behavior: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1168-79, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Luca Pieroni & David Aristei, 2006. "Regional Differences in Growth Rates: A Microdata Approach," ERSA conference papers ersa06p799, European Regional Science Association.

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