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The Wealth Accumulation of Italian Households: Evidence from Shaw


  • Raffaele Miniaci

    () (University of Padua)

  • Guglielmo Weber

    () (University of Padua, IFS and CEPR)


We use SHAW data to assess whether household wealth falls in old age, and what factors affect the shape of the wealth age profile. We find that Italian households fail to run down their financial assets after retirement, but let their total wealth decline past age 60. This fall is largely due to the decrease in home wealth: using information from a comparable data source covering a 12-year period, we find that it is mostly due to cohort effects. We also analyze the way wealth changes with age in relation to the reported likelihood of making gifts or leaving bequests, the presence of grown children within or outside the household and the interactions between generations, the general health conditions of both head and spouse, household income and housing tenure. Our key finding is that subjective measures for health status, bequest and gift motives play a significant role in explaining total wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Raffaele Miniaci & Guglielmo Weber, 2003. "The Wealth Accumulation of Italian Households: Evidence from Shaw," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 62(1), pages 57-91, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:gde:journl:gde_v62_n1_p57-91

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Deaton, Angus & Paxson, Christina, 1994. "Intertemporal Choice and Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 437-467, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tullio Jappelli & Mario Padula, 2003. "The Quality of Health Care: Evidence from Italy," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 62(1), pages 7-34, April.

    More about this item


    wealth accumulation; intergenerational transfers;

    JEL classification:

    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies


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