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The dynamics of household wealth accumulation in Italy

  • Tullio Jappelli
  • Luigi Pistaferri

We examine the dynamics of wealth accumulation distribution in Italy using data drawn from the Survey of Household Income and Wealth, a representative survey 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) and 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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Article provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its journal Fiscal Studies.

Volume (Year): 21 (2000)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 269-295

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Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:21:y:2000:i:2:p:269-295
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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. 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.
  3. Deaton, A. & Paxson, C., 1993. "Intertemporal Choice and Inequality," Papers 168, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  4. Giucca, P. & Jappelli, T. & Terlizzese, D., 1992. "Earning Uncertainty and Precautionary Saving," Papers 161, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  5. Jappelli, Tullio & Pistaferri, Luigi, 1997. "Using Subjective Income Expectations to Test for Excess Sensitivity of Consumption to Predicted Income Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1617, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. J. Dominitz & C. F. Manski, . "Using expectations data to study subjective income expectations," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1050-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  7. 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.
  8. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Lawrence H. Summers, 1980. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," NBER Working Papers 0445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1992. "Saving, Growth and Liquidity Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 662, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Jappelli, Tullio, 1999. "The Age-Wealth Profile and the Life-Cycle Hypothesis: A Cohort Analysis with Time Series of Cross-Sections of Italian Households," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(1), pages 57-75, March.
  11. 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.
  12. Caballero, R.J., 1988. "Consumption Puzzles And Precautionary Savings," Discussion Papers 1988_05, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  13. Das, Marcel & Donkers, Bas, 1999. "How Certain Are Dutch Households about Future Income? An Empirical Analysis," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(3), pages 325-38, September.
  14. 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.
  15. Agar Brugiavini, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement in Italy," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 181-237 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Brandolini, A., 1999. "The Distribution of Personal Income in Post-War Italy: Source Description, Date Quality, and the Time Pattern of Income Inequality," Papers 350, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  17. Christopher D. Carroll & Andrew A. Samwick, 1995. "The Nature of Precautionary Wealth," NBER Working Papers 5193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Lusardi, Annamaria, 1997. "Precautionary saving and subjective earnings variance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 319-326, December.
  21. repec:dgr:kubcen:199738 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. 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.
  23. Albert Ando & Luigi Guiso & Daniele Terlizzese, 1993. "Dissaving by the Elderly, Transfer Motives and Liquidity Constraints," NBER Working Papers 4569, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. 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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