Claudia Rotondi

L'enigma del risparmio e l'economia dello sviluppo: l'ipotesi del Ciclo di Vita di Modigliani in Cina

  • Abstract

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A theoretical, empirical, applied, and policy-oriented work. Thanks to this method of research, Franco Modigliani elaborated the Life-Cycle Hypothesis (LCH). He then applied such hypothesis to the specific case of Chinese savings, with two works published by Modigliani himself and Cao in 1996 and 2004, which still represent an important guideline for researchers. As the LCH suggests, the interactions between economic growth, income level, and demographic changes can strongly influence the personal savings rate. In China, various institutional factors have contributed to creating a high propensity for personal savings. Whereas such propensity alone does not fully explain the high rate of household savings, it constitutes an important determinant. To examine this issue, we make some considerations on the problematic but fruitful relationship between Modigliani and Keynesian theory. We look at his analysis of savings, then incorporated into the LCH, which was subject to empirical verification for a long time. We subsequently draw from Modigliani's contributions on savings in China, focusing also on their heuristic value in the current phase. Some conclusive reflections outline similarities between Modigliani's analysis of savings, on the one hand, and development economics, on the other.

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