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The Dynamics of Household Wealth Accumulation in Italy

We examine the dynamics of wealth accumulation distribution in Italy using data drawn from the Survey of Household Income and Wealth, a representative sample of the Italian population conducted by the Bank of Italy. We compare survey data with national accounts data and discuss sample representativeness, attrition, and measurement issues. We then look at wealth inequality (the cross-sectional dispersion of wealth), wealth mobility (individual transitions across the wealth distribution), and examine the age profile of wealth using repeated cross-sectional data. Finally, we consider various explanations for the pattern of wealth accumulation in Italy, focusing on retirement, bequests, income risk, health shocks, and credit market imperfections.

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Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 27.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 1999
Date of revision: 01 Dec 2000
Publication status: Published in Fiscal Studies, June 2000, vol. 21, pages 269-295
Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:27
Contact details of provider: Postal: I-80126 Napoli
Phone: +39 081 - 675372
Fax: +39 081 - 675372
Web page: http://www.csef.it/
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  1. 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.
  2. Andrea Brandolini, 1999. "The Distribution of Personal Income in Post-War Italy: Source Description, Data Quality, and the Time Pattern of Income Inequality," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 58(2), pages 183-239, September.
  3. 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.
  4. Albert Ando & Luigi Guiso & Daniele Terlizzese, 1993. "Dissaving by the Elderly, Transfer Motives and Liquidity Constraints," NBER Working Papers 4569, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Mark B. Stewart, 1982. "On Least Squares Estimation When the Dependent Variable is Grouped," Working Papers 539, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. 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 706-32, August.
  7. Lusardi, Annamaria, 1997. "Precautionary saving and subjective earnings variance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 319-326, December.
  8. Christopher D. Carroll & Andrew A. Samwick, 1995. "The Nature of Precautionary Wealth," NBER Working Papers 5193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1993. "Intertemporal Choice and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 4328, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Barca, F. & Cannari, L. & Guiso, L., 1992. "Bequests and Saving for Retirement. What Impels the Accumulation of Wealth," Papers 165, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  11. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
  12. Kessler, Denis & Masson, Andre, 1989. "Bequest and Wealth Accumulation: Are Some Pieces of the Puzzle Missing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 141-52, Summer.
  13. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1992. "Saving, Growth and Liquidity Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 662, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1992. "Earnings uncertainty and precautionary saving," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 307-337, November.
  15. Luigi Pistaferri & Tullio Jappelli, 1998. "Using Subjective Income Expectations to Test for Excess Sensitivity of Consumption to Predicted Income Growth," CSEF Working Papers 12, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  16. J. Dominitz & C. F. Manski, . "Using expectations data to study subjective income expectations," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1050-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  17. Das, J.W.M. & Donkers, A.C.D., 1997. "How Certain are Dutch Households about Future Income? An Empirical Analysis," Discussion Paper 1997-38, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  18. Jappelli, Tullio, 1995. "The Age-Wealth Profile and the Life-Cycle Hypothesis: A Cohort Analysis with a Time Series of Cross-Sections of Italian Households," CEPR Discussion Papers 1251, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Caballero, Ricardo J., 1990. "Consumption puzzles and precautionary savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 113-136, January.
  20. Agar Brugiavini, 1997. "Social Security and Retirement in Italy," NBER Working Papers 6155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Tullio Jappelli & Franco Modigliani, 1998. "The Age-Saving Profile and the Life-Cycle Hypothesis," CSEF Working Papers 09, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  22. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio, 1991. "Intergenerational transfers and capital market imperfections : Evidence from a cross-section of Italian households," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 103-120, January.
  23. Palumbo, Michael G, 1999. "Uncertain Medical Expenses and Precautionary Saving Near the End of the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 395-421, April.
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