June 1, 2004
This thesis focuses on the analysis of how households make their saving and consumption decisions. Chapters 1 and 2 relate to Britain, and the empirical analysis is carried out using the British Household Panel Survey. Chapter 1 explores how saving in different forms, such as saving devoted to pension and conventional savings, relate to each other. The chapter adds new evidence on the potential offsetting effect that personal pension plans can have on other forms of saving. Chapter 2 deals with the precautionary saving component of households’ saving. More specifically, it focuses on the effect that the risk of becoming ill has on savings patterns. This effect should be of different magnitude according to whether the individual is covered against the risk of illness by having subscribed to private health insurance. The aim of the paper is to test whether insured individuals exhibit a lower need to save in other forms. This chapter is the outcome of joint research with A. Guariglia that resulted in a joint paper, which is forthcoming on the Journal of Health Economies.
Chapter 3 deals with the presence of the time non-separability of preference and tests the presence of habit persistence/durability on consumption choice using an Euler equation approach. The estimates are obtained using a panel data of Italian households, the Survey of Households Income and Wealth.
Chapter 4 uses a time series of independent cross sections of a sample of Italian households’ budget data (ISTAT). The objective of the chapter is to determine whether the health reform impacted households’ saving. Moreover, we test for the existence of precautionary saving, generated by the presence of the stochastic medical expenses for the elderly group of the population.
Albert Sloman Library