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Age, revenu et comportements d'épargne des ménages : une analyse théorique et empirique sur la période 1978-2006

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  • Céline Antonin

Abstract

Au cours des cinquante dernières années, des modèles successifs ont été élaborés pour rendre compte du comportement d’épargne des ménages. Ces modèles diffèrent principalement par la longueur de l’horizon décisionnel : après avoir supposé une vision de court terme, l’horizon s’est progressivement élargi à la durée de vie du ménage, avant de devenir illimité ; on est ainsi passé du modèle myope keynésien, au modèle de cycle de vie, puis au modèle dynastique. Ces modèles ne sont pas exclusifs, et les théories développées récemment montrent que différents horizons peuvent coexister, par exemple dans le cadre d’une épargne de précaution avec volonté de transmission intergénérationnelle. L’objectif principal de cette étude est de tester la pertinence de ces différents cadres de pensée, et de déterminer l’horizon pertinent d’épargne des ménages à partir des enquêtes INSEE Budget des Familles, sur la période 1979-2006. On montre d’abord que l’hypothèse de cycle de vie constitue un cadre un peu simpliste pour rendre compte du comportement d’épargne des ménages, car l’on observe pas de décroissance des taux d’épargne en fin de vie. Il s’agit ensuite de détailler les comportements par âge, en distinguant les ménages d’âge actif des ménages retraités : – Les ménages d’âge actif sont essentiellement sensibles au motif de précaution (assurance contre les chocs de revenu à court terme), et au motif cycle de vie (perspective de préparation de la retraite). Ils ont peu de considérations dynastiques, et épargnent davantage sur les revenus du travail que sur les revenus du capital. – Les ménages retraités ont un comportement dynastique quel que soit leur niveau de richesse, avec une désaccumulation de capital très limitée. Autrement dit, au cours de leur vie active, les ménages se soucient essentiellement du lendemain, et dans une certaine mesure de leur retraite ; la prise en compte des générations futures n’intervient qu’au moment de la retraite. Le second objectif de cette étude est d’analyser l’existence de taux d’épargne différents sur le capital et sur le travail, une question récurrente dans le débat économique. Le consensus des macroéconomistes, selon lequel on épargne davantage sur le capital que sur le travail, est aujourd’hui battu en brèche par les nouvelles théories de l’épargne, notamment les théories de l’épargne de précaution. L’étude empirique à partir des données Budget des Familles suggère, pour la population d’âge actif, l’existence de taux d’épargne plus élevés sur le travail que sur le capital, ce qui légitime le motif de précaution.

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  • Céline Antonin, 2009. "Age, revenu et comportements d'épargne des ménages : une analyse théorique et empirique sur la période 1978-2006," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/5l6uh8ogmqi, Sciences Po.
  • Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/5l6uh8ogmqildh09h6m8hj429
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    References listed on IDEAS

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