Social Protection Transfers between Insurance and Assistance: a Retrospective Analysis of the Italian System in a Reform Perspective
This paper examines the Italian social assistance system in order to identify its performance against poverty over time. The focus is on the elderly individuals. The aim is to gain hints on possible directions for reform, in the light of the population aging and of the facingout of the pension reform of mid-nineties. The paper provides an analysis of the institutional characteristics of the two main instruments that are explicitly oriented at the elderly individuals: social pension and minimum pension. The objective is to highlight the explicit, as well as the implicit, policy design in terms of poverty contrast among the elderly. To do so, poverty indicators officially adopted by the public institutions, such as the Italian Poverty Commission and the National Institute of Statistics, are used. Furthermore, the paper gives an assessment of the ex-post performance of the social pension based on data from the Bank of Italy Survey of Households Income and Wealth (BISHIW). This part of the analysis gives also attention to those individuals' and household's characteristics that are ignored by the law requirements for the access to the protection scheme; the idea is that a more complete view of the state of need of the potential beneficiaries and of their households may help improving the effectiveness and the efficiency of the social protection.
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