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The Life-Cycle Hypothesis, Fiscal Policy, and Social Security

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Abstract

The paper reviews some of the most important results of the Life Cycle Hypothesis for understanding individual and aggregate saving behaviour. It then turns to the implications for fiscal policy and social security, highlighting Modigliani’s seminal contributions. Over time competing theories have emerged, and some empirical findings are difficult to reconcile with LCH; chiefly aspects of inertia, myopia, and irrational behaviour documented by the recent behavioural literature. But the LCH is still the benchmark model to think about individual saving decisions, the aggregate evidence and policy issues.

Suggested Citation

  • Tullio Jappelli, 2005. "The Life-Cycle Hypothesis, Fiscal Policy, and Social Security," CSEF Working Papers 140, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:140
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    1. 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.
    2. Tullio Jappelli & Franco Modigliani, 2006. "The Age–Saving Profile and the Life-Cycle Hypothesis," Chapters,in: Long-run Growth and Short-run Stabilization, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    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. Modigliani, Franco & Sterling, Arlie, 1986. "Government Debt, Government Spending and Private Sector Behavior: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1168-1179, December.
    5. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
    6. Modigliani, Franco, 1986. "Life Cycle, Individual Thrift, and the Wealth of Nations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 297-313, June.
    7. Feldstein, Martin S, 1976. "Social Security and Saving: The Extended Life Cycle Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 77-86, May.
    8. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 706-732, August.
    9. Dreze, Jacques H. & Modigliani, Franco, 1972. "Consumption decisions under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 308-335, December.
    10. Rossi, Nicola & Visco, Ignazio, 1995. "National saving and social security in Italy," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 329-356, December.
    11. Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244.
    12. Modigliani, Franco. & Sterling, Arlie., 1981. "Determinants of private saving with special reference to the role of social security : cross country tests," Working papers 1209-81., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dilla, Diana, 2017. "Staatsverschuldung und Verschuldungsmentalität
      [Public Debt and Debt Mentality]
      ," MPRA Paper 79432, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. repec:asi:adprev:2018:p:198-212 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Luca Pieroni & David Aristei, 2006. "Regional Differences in Growth Rates: A Microdata Approach," ERSA conference papers ersa06p799, European Regional Science Association.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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