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The Italian Pension System from the Firs Oil Shock to the Treaty of Maastricht: Facts and Debate at the Origin of the 1990s Reforms


  • Luca Spataro

    () (Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, University of Pisa, and CHILD)


This article surveys the most significant steps in the history of the Italian pension and social protection system from the early 1970s up to the beginning of the period of the great reforms launched in the 1990s. First and foremost, it provides a quantitative analysis of the phenomenon under study, on the basis of the historical series produced by ISTAT (2002), and evaluates both the extent and composition of the increments that characterized the pattern of expenditure during this period. Secondly, the analysis seeks to shed light on the underlying causes of this increase and of the distributive distortions present in the Italian pension system. To this end, the debate among the economists of the era is reconstructed, with focus on the positions assumed by some of the most authoritative figures. Finally, the article addresses the problems and the debate concerning the institutional framework that contributed to the runaway expenditure.

Suggested Citation

  • Luca Spataro, 2011. "The Italian Pension System from the Firs Oil Shock to the Treaty of Maastricht: Facts and Debate at the Origin of the 1990s Reforms," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 119(2), pages 191-234.
  • Handle: RePEc:vep:journl:y:2011:v:119:i:2:p:191-234

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    Italian Pension system; Crisis; Reforms;

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • B25 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary; Austrian; Stockholm School


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