The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
The composition of Italian household wealth has undergone significant changes in the last decade, partly reflecting the growth of public debt and monetary policies aimed at encouraging its absorption by the household sector. Within a theoretical framework consistent with the 'money in the utility function' approach, this paper investigates household preferences for liquidity services provided by short-term financial assets. In the attempt to explain the factors underlying those changes, the empirical analysis provides information on the pattern of substitution for the main components of financial wealth and permits analysis of a variety of government interventions in asset markets.