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Wealth and inequality in Italy

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  • Giovanni D'Alessio

    ()
    (Banca d'Italia)

Abstract

The paper describes first the evolution in total household wealth in Italy over the period 1965-2010 before addressing the analysis of wealth inequality. On the basis of reconstructed data, we show that household wealth inequality declined until the beginning of the 1990s. It then grew significantly during that decade, remaining at approximately the same level afterwards. By international standards, Italy does not have a high level of wealth inequality (contrary to the evidence available for income). Wealth distribution has changed significantly over time, favouring elderly rather than young households. The origins of wealth (savings, gifts, inheritance, capital gains) are also examined and the statistical evidence is discussed together with the opinions on inequality collected by means of statistical surveys.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) with number 115.

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Date of creation: Feb 2012
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_115_12

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Web page: http://www.bancaditalia.it
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Keywords: wealth; inequality;

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  1. Davies, James B. & Shorrocks, Anthony F., 2000. "The distribution of wealth," Handbook of Income Distribution, Elsevier, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 605-675 Elsevier.
  2. Helmuth Cremer & ) & Pierre Pestieau, 2004. "Wealth Trasfer Taxation: A Survey," Public Economics, EconWPA 0401004, EconWPA.
  3. Claudia Biancotti & Giovanni D'Alessio, 2008. "Values, inequality and happiness," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers), Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area 669, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  4. Jean Tirole & Roland Benabou, 2004. "Belief in a Just World and Redistributive Politics," 2004 Meeting Papers 15, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
  6. James B. Davies & Susanna Sandstrom & Anthony Shorrocks & Edward N. Wolff, 2009. "The Level and Distribution of Global Household Wealth," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20091, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
  7. Pyatt, Graham & Chen, Chau-nan & Fei, John, 1980. "The Distribution of Income by Factor Components," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 451-73, November.
  8. Orsetta Causa & Åsa Johansson, 2009. "Intergenerational Social Mobility," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 707, OECD Publishing.
  9. Klevmarken, N. Anders, 2006. "The Distribution of Wealth in Sweden: Trends and Driving factors," Working Paper Series, Uppsala University, Department of Economics 2006:4, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
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