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The Dynamics of Household Wealth Accumulation in Italy

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Abstract

We examine the dynamics of wealth accumulation distribution in Italy using data drawn from the Survey of Household Income and Wealth, a representative sample of the Italian population conducted by the Bank of Italy. We compare survey data with national accounts data and discuss sample representativeness, attrition, and measurement issues. We then look at wealth inequality (the cross-sectional dispersion of wealth), wealth mobility (individual transitions across the wealth distribution), and examine the age profile of wealth using repeated cross-sectional data. Finally, we consider various explanations for the pattern of wealth accumulation in Italy, focusing on retirement, bequests, income risk, health shocks, and credit market imperfections.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 27.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 1999
Date of revision: 01 Dec 2000
Publication status: Published in Fiscal Studies, June 2000, vol. 21, pages 269-295
Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:27

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Keywords: Wealth accumulation; Inequality; Mobility;

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  1. Stewart, Mark B, 1983. "On Least Squares Estimation When the Dependent Variable Is Grouped," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 737-53, October.
  2. Agar Brugiavini, 1997. "Social Security and Retirement in Italy," NBER Working Papers 6155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Andrea Brandolini, 1999. "The Distribution of Personal Income in Post-War Italy: Source Description, Data Quality, and the Time Pattern of Income Inequality," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 58(2), pages 183-239, September.
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  6. Tullio Jappelli, 1999. "The Age-Wealth Profile and The Life-Cycle Hypothesis: a Cohort Analysis with a Time Series of Cross-Sections of Italian Households," CSEF Working Papers 14, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  7. Jappelli, Tullio & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2000. "Using subjective income expectations to test for excess sensitivity of consumption to predicted income growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 337-358, February.
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  13. Kessler, Denis & Masson, Andre, 1989. "Bequest and Wealth Accumulation: Are Some Pieces of the Puzzle Missing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 141-52, Summer.
  14. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
  15. 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.
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  17. Palumbo, Michael G, 1999. "Uncertain Medical Expenses and Precautionary Saving Near the End of the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 395-421, April.
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  21. Christopher D. Carroll & Andrew A. Samwick, 1995. "The Nature of Precautionary Wealth," NBER Working Papers 5193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Irving Fisher Committee, 2004. "The IFC's contribution to the 54th ISI Session, Berlin, August 2003," IFC Bulletins, Bank for International Settlements, number 17, October -.
  3. Hochguertel, Stefan & Ohlsson, Henry, 2012. "Who is at the top? Wealth mobility over the life cycle," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2012:1, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  4. Andrea Brandolini & Giovanni D’Alessio & Luigi Cannari & Ivan Faiella, 2004. "Household Wealth Distribution in Italy in the 1990s," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_414, Levy Economics Institute.
  5. Tatiana Kirsanova & James Sefton, 2006. "A Comparison of National Saving Rates in the UK, US and Italy," Discussion Papers 0612, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  6. Radhika Lahiri & Shyama Ratnasiri, 2006. "Concerning Inequality, Technology Adoption, and Structural Change," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 207, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
  7. Mariacristina Rossi, 2005. "Households' Consumption under the Habit Formation Hypothesis. Evidence from Italian Households using the Survey of Household Income and Wealth (SHIW)," Economics Discussion Papers 595, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  8. Fiaschi, Davide & Marsili, Matteo, 2012. "Distribution of wealth and incomplete markets: Theory and empirical evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 243-267.
  9. Andrea Caggese, 2004. "Testing financial constraints on firm investment using variable capital," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2003 9, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  10. Stefan Hochguertel & Henry Ohlsson, 2011. "Wealth mobility and dynamics over entire individual working life cycles," BCL working papers 56, Central Bank of Luxembourg.
  11. Raffaele Miniaci & Chiara Monfardini & Guglielmo Weber, 2003. "Is there a retirement consumption puzzle in Italy?," IFS Working Papers W03/14, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  12. Raffaele Miniaci & Chiara Monfardini & Guglielmo Weber, 2010. "How does consumption change upon retirement?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 257-280, April.
  13. Andrea Neri, 2009. "Measuring wealth mobility," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 703, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  14. Stefan Hochguertel & Henry Ohlsson, 2012. "Who is at the Top? Wealth Mobility over the Life Cycle," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-004/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  15. 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.

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