Personal Saving and Social Security in Italy: Fresh Evidence from a Time Series Analysis
The paper provides an econometric analysis of the aggregate saving function of Italian households in the vein of the life cycle theory. Results from an ECM representation based on yearly data for 1951-1998 point to depressive effects on private consumption of recent reforms of social security, actual and expected for next few years. In order to compensate for both reductions in actual pension payments and increased uncertainty about their future claims, households stepped up accumulation of real and financial assets since the beginning of the nineties. First estimates of capital gains do not show a significant impact on consumption demand, in the short and in the long period: their high volatility has likely hindered a fair assessment of their contribution to personal purchasing power on the part of households. Demographic changes, while in the long run not seemingly determined in conjunction with the economic variables we consider, turn out to play a significant role in the evolution of consumption demand.
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