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Modelling Private Wealth Accumulation and Spend-down in the Italian Microsimulation Model CAPP_DYN: A Life-Cycle Approach


  • Simone Tedeschi

    () (Sapienza University of Rome)

  • Elena Pisano

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Carlo Mazzaferro

    () (University of Bologna and CAPP)

  • Marcello Morciano

    () (University of East Anglia, ISER and CAPP)


In microsimulation literature a limited number of models include a module aimed at analyzing and projecting the evolution of private wealth over time. However, this issue appears crucial in order to comprehensively evaluate the likely distributional effects of institutional reforms adopted to cope with population ageing. In this work we describe the implementation in the Italian dynamic micro simulation model CAPP_DYN of a new module in which householdsÂ’ savings and asset allocation are modelled. In particular, we aim to account for possible behavioural responses to pension reforms in household savings. To this end, we rely on an approximate life cycle structural framework for estimating saving behaviour, while adopting a traditional stochastic micro simulation approach for asset allocation. In line with Ando and Nicoletti Altimari (2004), we emphasize the role of lifetime economic resources in householdsÂ’ consumption decisions, yet we further account for internal habit formation and subjective expectations on pension outcomes in the econometric stage. In addition, we model intergenerational transfers of private wealth in a probabilistic fashion. As the behavioural hypothesis adopted can largely affect results, we compare our semi-structural life-cycle approach with the estimation and the simulation of a non-structural consumption rule, analyzing wealth and disposable income dynamics and their drivers according to the two methods, especially in a long-term intergenerational perspective. While a 'quasi' life cycle consumption profile, including saving responses to pension reforms, curbs the dynamics of wealth inequality compared to the non-structural approach, results for the period 2010-2050 suggest an increasing contribution of intergenerational transfers to the predicted increase in wealth dispersion. Although hypotheses on (the mean of) returns are neutral for the evolution of net wealth inequality, the differential between returns and productivity (r-g) parameters are crucial in affecting the dynamics of disposable income due to cumulated effect on capital incomes shares.

Suggested Citation

  • Simone Tedeschi & Elena Pisano & Carlo Mazzaferro & Marcello Morciano, 2013. "Modelling Private Wealth Accumulation and Spend-down in the Italian Microsimulation Model CAPP_DYN: A Life-Cycle Approach," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 6(2), pages 76-122.
  • Handle: RePEc:ijm:journl:v:6:y:2013:i:2:p:76-122

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tullio Jappelli & Franco Modigliani, 2006. "The Age–Saving Profile and the Life-Cycle Hypothesis," Chapters,in: Long-run Growth and Short-run Stabilization, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. John Laitner & Dan Silverman, 2005. "Estimating Life-Cycle Parameters from Consumption Behavior at Retirement," NBER Working Papers 11163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Giovanni D'Alessio & Ivan Faiella, 2002. "Non-response behaviour in the Bank of Italy�s Survey of Household Income and Wealth," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 462, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    4. Michael D. Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2008. "The Retirement Consumption Puzzle: Actual Spending Change in Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 13929, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    1. repec:ijm:journl:v10:y:2018:i:1:p:61-96 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Household consumption; habit formation; pension expectations; social security; intergenerational transfers; income and wealth distribution; microsimulation;

    JEL classification:

    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions


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