NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Size and Composition of Wealth Holdings in the United States, Italy, and the Netherlands

Arie Kapteyn, Constantijn Panis

NBER Working Paper No. 10182
Issued in December 2003
NBER Program(s):   PE   AG

This paper analyzes retirement saving and portfolio choice in the United States, Italy, and the Netherlands. While these countries enjoy roughly the same standard of living, they vary widely in their institutional organization of retirement income provisions. Building on extensions of the life cycle model, we derive hypotheses on the implications of institutional differences for wealth accumulation and portfolio composition. Examples of implications are that the ratio of net worth and gross wealth should be highest in Italy, that Dutch households should hold the lowest wealth levels at retirement and that the ownership of risky assets should be highest in the U.S. We investigate these and other hypotheses at both the macro and micro level and find that the data are generally consistent with the hypotheses.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w10182

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