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Life Cycle, Individual Thrift and the Wealth of Nations


  • Modigliani, Franco

    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)


This paper provides a review of the theory of the determinants of individual and national thrift that has come to be known as the Life Cycle Hypothesis (LCH) of saving. Applications to some current policy issues are also discussed. Part I deals with the state of the art on the eve of the formulation of the LCH some 30 years ago. Part II sets forth the theoretical foundations of the model in its original formulation and later amendment, calling attention to various implications, distinctive to it and, sometimes, counter-intuitive. It also includes a review of a number of crucial empirical tests, both at the individual and the aggregate level. Part III reviews some applications of LCH to current policy issues, though only in sketchy fashion, as space constraints prevent fuller discussion.

Suggested Citation

  • Modigliani, Franco, 1985. "Life Cycle, Individual Thrift and the Wealth of Nations," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1985-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:nobelp:1985_001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, January.
    2. Robert A. Mundell, 1962. "The Appropriate Use of Monetary and Fiscal Policy for Internal and External Stability," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 9(1), pages 70-79, March.
    3. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1976. "Expectations and Exchange Rate Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1161-1176, December.
    4. Robert Mundell, 1963. "Inflation and Real Interest," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 71, pages 280-280.
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    More about this item


    Life cycle;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth


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