Andrea Brandolini, Romina Gambacorta, Alfonso Rosolia

Income inequality and stagnation in Italy over the last quarter of a century

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Keywords: Personal Income; Wealth, and Their Distributions; Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital and Aggregate Labor Productivity.

The paper analyses the evolution of inequality in Italy from 1989 to 2014, focusing on three business-cycle phases: the 1992 currency crisis, the moderate growth from 1993 to 2007, and the double-dip recession from 2008 to 2013. Data from the national accounts and the Bank of Italy's Survey on Household Income and Wealth are used. Income inequality rose sharply during the recession of the early 1990s but much less during the recent double-dip recession, though the share of people at risk of poverty rose similarly during the two crises. This follows from the fact that the reduction in income hit the whole population during the double-dip recession. This apparent stability hides the widening gap between socio-demographic groups, in particular between the young and the elderly, and between native and foreign-born households.

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