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Pension Policy and Poverty in Italy: Recent Developments and New Priorities


  • Daniele Franco


  • Maria Rosaria Marino


  • Pietro Tommasino

    () (Banca d'Italia)


Ensuring adequate living standards to a growing number of elderly while restraining the growth of pension spending represents the main challenge for Italian pension policy. There is a need for an in-depth analysis of the economic conditions of the elderly which in order to target resources to the more needy groups. Using micro-data from the Bank of Italy Survey of Household Income and Wealth (SHIW), we document that the incidence and intensity of poverty among pensioners in Italy are far below those concerning other citizens. This is mainly attributable to the generous rules which governed, until very recently, the public pension system. However, the economic conditions of pensioners vary a lot with age, gender, region and family characteristics. Some groups present high poverty risks. Moreover, the pension reforms implemented since 1992 will curb the benefits paid to younger generations, which also suffer from relatively low wages and increased job flexi-bility. As a result, for such cohorts the poverty risk after retirement has sharply risen. Changes in the social insurance pension schemes can mitigate some of these risks, but the goal of poverty reduction should be primarily pursued through other expenditure programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniele Franco & Maria Rosaria Marino & Pietro Tommasino, 2008. "Pension Policy and Poverty in Italy: Recent Developments and New Priorities," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 67(2), pages 119-160, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:gde:journl:gde_v67_n2_p119-160

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Brandolini & Romina Gambacorta & Alfonso Rosolia, 2018. "Inequality amid income stagnation: Italy over the last quarter of a century," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 442, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    2. repec:dau:papers:123456789/11143 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    pensions; poverty;

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs


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