Luigi Cannari, Giovanni D'Alessio

Wealth Inequality in Italy: A Reconstruction of 1968-1975 Data and a Comparison with Recent Estimates

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Wealth; Income; Inequality; Poverty; Synthetic Data.

This paper provides a reconstruction of the joint distribution of income and wealth among Italians in the years ranging from 1968 to 1975. By exploiting the information available in some historical reports recently published by the Bank of Italy, the paper reconstructs synthetic microdata compatible with the aggregate results of sample surveys carried out in those years. In this way, inequality and poverty can be estimated by using the same statistical criteria that are used today, making possible an intertemporal comparison of the estimates. The concentration of household wealth shows a downward trend in the 1970s and 1980s, an increase in the years following the 1992-1993 crisis and a relative stability in the new century. In the period 1968-1975 the concentration of wealth turns out to have been higher than in recent years. The estimates of relative poverty, calculated by using both indicators of equivalent income and indicators that combine income and wealth, show a decreasing trend until the 1990s and a subsequent increase; the upward trend of these indicators in recent years is steeper than that of the concentration indices. The poverty indicators that take wealth into account have reached levels similar to those observed in the period 1968-1975. Migration flows have significantly contributed to the recent growth in the poverty indices.

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