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The Well-Being of Italians: A Comparative Historical Approach

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Author Info

  • Andrea Brandolini

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

  • Giovanni Vecchi

    ()
    (Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”)

Abstract

The paper describes the evolution of the well-being of the Italians during the 150 years since the country's unification. The progress in material standard of living was substantial, with GDP per capita growing 13 times between 1861 and 2010 and hours of work (and hence effort) falling considerably, but was roughly in line with that experienced by most other European countries. By relying on a novel database on household budgets, the paper shows that economic growth was accompanied by a long-run reduction of inequality that appears however to have been reversed in the last two decades. Progress was not limited to the economic domain: educational attainment improved considerably, although less than in other countries; on the other hand, the increase in life expectancy was spectacular and brought Italians to lead the international ranking.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) with number 19.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:workqs:qse_19

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Related research

Keywords: Italian history; human progress; income inequality;

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References

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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Italy and the World Economy: celebrating Italy’s 150th birthday with some data crunching
    by missiaia in NEP-HIS blog on 2012-01-23 10:08:19
  2. Italy and the World Economy: celebrating Italy’s 150th birthday with some data crunching
    by missiaia in NEP-HIS blog on 2012-01-23 10:08:19
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Emanuele Felice & Giovanni Vecchi, 2012. "Italy’s Modern Economic Growth, 1861-2011," Department of Economics University of Siena 663, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  2. Magda Bianco & Giulio Napolitano, 2011. "The Italian Administrative System: Why a Source of Competitive Disadvantage?," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 24, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  3. Salvatore Morelli & Timothy Smeeding & Jeffrey Thompson, 2014. "Post-1970 Trends in Within-Country Inequality and Poverty: Rich and Middle Income Countries," CSEF Working Papers 356, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  4. Emanuele Felice, 2012. "Neither dashboard nor 'mashup' indices: an empirical wealth approach as a pathway to a comprehensive measure of development," UHE Working papers 2012_01, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.
  5. Luca Nunziata, 2012. "In a Time of Crisis: Some Notes on the Italian Labour Market and Beyond," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 10(2), pages 40-48, 08.
  6. Emanuele Felice & Josep Pujol Andreu, 2013. "GDP and life expectancy in Italy and Spain over the long-run (1861-2008): insights from a time-series approach," UHE Working papers 2013_06, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.
  7. Felice, Emanuele & Carreras, Albert, 2012. "When did modernization begin? Italy's industrial growth reconsidered in light of new value-added series, 1911–1951," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 443-460.
  8. Emanuele Felice & Michelangelo Vasta, 2012. "Passive Modernization? The New Human Development Index and Its Components in Italy’s Regions (1871-2007)," UHE Working papers 2012_10, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.

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