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Changes in Consumption Behaviour: Italy in the Early 1990s

  • Grant, Charles
  • Miniaci, Raffaele
  • Weber, Guglielmo

This paper investigates the causes of the Italian consumption bust of the early 1990s by estimating deviations from 'normal' consumption using household level data for 1985-94. The data set used is a particularly rich, but as yet unexplored, source recently released by ISTAT. It contains detailed demographic and expenditure information for over 30,000 Italian households each year. The main findings are that the decline in consumption was larger for the working age households. The fall in consumption was also stronger in the south, among the self-employed, and among public sector employees. The decline can be dated from the third quarter of 1992. We use a simulation to show how these results can be reconciled with the life-cycle model of consumption in which there is a permanent and unexpected shock to lifetime income induced by the pension and other reforms introduced by the Amato government.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2006.

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Date of creation: Oct 1998
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2006
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  1. Attanasio, Orazio P & Weber, Guglielmo, 1994. "The UK Consumption Boom of the Late 1980s: Aggregate Implications of Microeconomic Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1269-1302, November.
  2. Andrea Brandolini, 1999. "The Distribution of Personal Income in Post-War Italy: Source Description, Data Quality, and the Time Pattern of Income Inequality," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 350, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  3. Jappelli, Tullio, 1995. "Does social security reduce the accumulation of private wealth? Evidence from Italian survey data," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 1-31, March.
  4. Raffaele Miniaci & Guglielmo Weber, 1996. "The Italian recession of 1993: Aggregate implications of microeconomic evidence," IFS Working Papers W96/09, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. Erich Battistin & Raffale Miniaci & Guglielmo Weber, 2000. "What do we learn from recall consumption data?," IFS Working Papers W00/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Orazio Attanasio & James Banks & Costas Meghir & Guglielmo Weber, 1995. "Humps and bumps in lifetime consumption," IFS Working Papers W95/14, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. Orazio P. Attanasio & Hilary W. Hoynes, 1995. "Differential Mortality and Wealth Accumulation," NBER Working Papers 5126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Bentolila, Samuel & Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad Is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402, July.
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