The Age-Wealth Profile and The Life-Cycle Hypothesis: a Cohort Analysis with a Time Series of Cross-Sections of Italian Households


In this paper I estimate the age-wealth profile under two different identification assumptions about age, cohort and time effects. According to the life-cycle model, the two set of assumptions should yield similar age-wealth profiles. Using the 1984-1993 Italian Survey of Household Income and Wealth, the estimated average annual rate of wealth decumulation in old age is found to be between 3 and 6 percent. As in the life-cycle model, the cohort effect increases with year of birth. However, the results uncover also considerable population heterogeneity: the rates of wealth decumulation are much lower for rich households and households headed by individuals with higher education.Subjective expectations, precautionary saving, excess sensitivity

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