Inequality amid income stagnation: Italy over the last quarter of a century
30. November 2018 12:30 - 13:30
Ferdinand Friedensburg RoomDIW BerlinRoom 2.3.001Mohrenstraße 5810117 Berlin
Andrea Brandolini (Bank of Italy)
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. Results show that income inequality, as measured by the Gini coefficient, 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. The stability of (synthetic) distributive inequality measures is explained by the fact that the reduction in income during the double-dip recession hit the whole population. Despite this apparent stability, two changes stand out: the widening gap between the young and the elderly and the fact that the deterioration in living conditions was borne wholly by households whose primary earner was foreign born.