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Franco Modigliani e la teoria del ciclo vitale del consumo

  • Angus Deaton

    ()

    (Princeton University, Research Program in Development Studies e Center for Health and Wellbeing, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton (USA))

In the early '50s, Franco Modigliani and his student Richard Brumberg elaborated a theory of expenditure based on the idea that individuals make smart choices about how they want to spend at any age, with the only limit of the available resources in the course of their lives. Through the accumulation and decumulation of assets, those who work can provide for their own retirement and, more generally, can adapt their consumption patterns to the needs that arise at different ages, regardless of income available in every moment of his life. This simple theory leads to predictions relevant and not discounted for the economy as a whole, for example, that national saving depends on the rate of growth of national income and not on his level, and there is a simple relationship between the level of wealth in the economic system and the length of time spent in retirement. These forecasts, not verifiable in the '50s, they found considerable empirical support in the subsequent work of Modigliani and other researchers. Although over the years the theory of consumption has suffered numerous attacks, the most recent of which are driven by a coalition of psychologists and economists, the hypothesis of the life cycle remains an essential part of the thinking of economists. Without it we would have much less to say about many important issues, such as providing public and private social security, the effects of the stock market on the economy, the impact of demographic change on national savings, the role of saving in economic growth and the determinants of national wealth.

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Article provided by Economia civile in its journal Moneta e Credito.

Volume (Year): 58 (2005)
Issue (Month): 230-231 ()
Pages: 97-115

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Handle: RePEc:psl:moneta:2005:28
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  1. Flavin, Marjorie A, 1981. "The Adjustment of Consumption to Changing Expectations about Future Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 974-1009, October.
  2. Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1988. "Intergenerational Transfers and Savings," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 41-58, Spring.
  3. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
  4. Deaton, Angus, 1991. "Saving and Liquidity Constraints," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1221-48, September.
  5. Banks, James & Blundell, Richard & Tanner, Sarah, 1998. "Is There a Retirement-Savings Puzzle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 769-88, September.
  6. Harris, Christopher & Laibson, David, 2001. "Dynamic Choices of Hyperbolic Consumers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 935-57, July.
  7. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  8. William Barnett & Robert Solow, 2004. "An Interview With Franco Modigliani," WORKING PAPERS SERIES IN THEORETICAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS 200407, University of Kansas, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2004.
  9. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Parker, Jonathan A, 2000. "Consumption Over the Life-Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 2345, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Christopher D Carroll, 1990. "Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis," Economics Working Paper Archive 371, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Aug 1996.
  11. Christopher D. Carroll & Lawrence H. Summers, 1991. "Consumption Growth Parallels Income Growth: Some New Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: National Saving and Economic Performance, pages 305-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-87, December.
  13. Richard Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save more tomorrow: Using behavioral economics to increase employee saving," Natural Field Experiments 00337, The Field Experiments Website.
  14. 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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