Le patrimoine et ses logiques d'accumulation
This article considers four models of household wealth accumulation, which differ principally in terms of the length of the time horizon. The myopic model is characterised by a very short time horizon, with models levels of wealth tracking income, while life-cycle models suppose that individuals maximise over the whole of their expected lifetime. Third, in the dynastic or long-sighted model individual preferences include the welfare of future generations. While the life-cycle household aims to consume all of its resources over its lifetime, dynastic households make bequests to their children. Last, some large fortunes seem to be motivated by a desire for power, economic or otherwise, social status, or a desire for immortality. We distinguish two types of saving: saving for oneself, and saving for others or as an end in itself. The latter results from the last two models of wealth accumulation. We propose a typology of wealth accumulation in French households which crosses the four types of motivation with the two types of saving.
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