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The Consumption and Wealth Effects of an Unanticipated Change in Lifetime Resources

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Abstract

In 2000 Italy replaced its traditional system of severance pay for public employees with a new system. Under the old regime, severance pay was proportional to the final salary before retirement; under the new regime it is proportional to lifetime earnings. This reform entails substantial losses for future generations of public employees, in the range of €20,000-30,000, depending on seniority. Using a difference-in-difference framework, we estimate the impact of this unanticipated change in lifetime resources, on the current consumption and wealth accumulation of employees affected by the reform. In line with theoretical simulations, we find that each euro reduction in severance pay reduces the average propensity to consume by 3 cents and increases the wealth-income ratio by 0.32. The response is stronger for younger workers and for households where both spouses are public sector employees.

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  • Tullio Jappelli & Mario Padula, 2014. "The Consumption and Wealth Effects of an Unanticipated Change in Lifetime Resources," CSEF Working Papers 354, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 23 Jul 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:354
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2010. "The Consumption Response to Income Changes," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 479-506, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Effrosyni Adamopoulou & Roberta Zizza, 2015. "Accessorizing. The effect of union contract renewals on consumption," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1024, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    2. Savignac, Frédérique & Arrondel, Luc & Lamarche, Pierre, 2015. "Wealth effects on consumption across the wealth distribution: empirical evidence," Working Paper Series 1817, European Central Bank.
    3. Luc Arrondel & Pierre Lamarche & Frédérique Savignac, 2017. "Does Inequality Matter for the Consumption-Wealth Channel? Empirical Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 6676, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Severance Pay; Consumption; Wealth Accumulation;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • 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

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