IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Assessing the Distributional Effects of Housing Taxation in Italy: a Microsimulation Approach


  • Simone Pellegrino
  • Massimiliano Piacenza
  • Gilberto Turati


The presence of extensive housing subsidies characterizes the current Italian tax system as inefficient. In this article, we study whether inefficiency is the price to be paid to improve equity, by assessing the distributive impact of housing taxation on households' well-being. We concentrate on the Personal Income Tax (PIT) on the main residence, and compare current provisions of the Tax Code with alternative approaches which consider the imputed rent (IR) from owner-occupied dwellings, and would make the tax system neutral with respect to the allocation of wealth among different assets. Holding revenues constant at the current level, we assess the distributional consequences of the IR approach in terms of several alternative scenarios. Our results suggest that the current tax system is as inefficient as it is inequitable. In particular, by including IR from owner-occupied dwellings as a component of the PIT gross income, we find that overall, inequality is reduced, while contemporaneously increasing efficiency in the allocation of wealth. Moreover, considering changes in tax liabilities for individual taxpayers, we show that taxing IRs will favour the young and penalize the elderly. (JEL Codes: H24, D31) Copyright The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Munich. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Simone Pellegrino & Massimiliano Piacenza & Gilberto Turati, 2012. "Assessing the Distributional Effects of Housing Taxation in Italy: a Microsimulation Approach," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 58(3), pages 495-524, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cesifo:v:58:y:2012:i:3:p:495-524

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Paolo Caro, 2020. "Decomposing Personal Income Tax Redistribution with Application to Italy," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 18(1), pages 113-129, March.
    2. Figari, Francesco & Paulus, Alari & Sutherland, Holly & Tsakloglou, Panos & Verbist, Gerlinde & Zantomio, Francesca, 2012. "Taxing Home Ownership: Distributional Effects of Including Net Imputed Rent in Taxable Income," IZA Discussion Papers 6493, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Giovanna Messina & Marco Savegnago, 2015. "Le imposte sulla prima casa in Italia, un equilibrio difficile fra decentramento e redistribuzione," ECONOMIA PUBBLICA, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2015(3), pages 5-29.
    4. Massimiliano Ferraresi & Leonzio Rizzo, 2015. "L’impatto della contabilità euro-compatibile in un’auspicabile evoluzione del patto di stabilità interno," ECONOMIA PUBBLICA, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2015(3), pages 31-57.
    5. Paolo Di Caro, 2017. "Analisi distributiva dell’IRPEF utilizzando i microdati di fonte fiscale," ECONOMIA PUBBLICA, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2017(1), pages 35-59.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:cesifo:v:58:y:2012:i:3:p:495-524. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Oxford University Press or Christopher F. Baum (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.