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Labour, profit and housing rent shares in Italian GDP: long-run trends and recent patterns

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  • Roberto Torrini

    (ANVUR and Bank of Italy)

Abstract

The share of labour increased in the first half of the 1970s, declined slowly to its 1960s level in 2001, and since then has been rising. Between 1975 and 2001, the decline in the labour share was due in part to the recovery in profits, and in part to a steady increase in housing rents on GDP, to 13 per cent of value added (5% in 1975) and almost 40 per cent of capital income (20% in the mid-1970s). Net of housing rents, the share of profits fell to a historical low during the great recession. In the business sector net of housing, recovery of the labour share, magnified by the recent recession, was evident in manufacturing and industries other than regulated sectors (energy, transport, communications and finance), where privatizations and changes to regulation provoked a marked drop in the labour share in the late 1990s. I tentatively explain the trend reversal in the labour share, which started well before the onset of the crises, as due to a compression in the mark-ups on marginal costs and the difficulty experienced by Italian firms to be rewarded for their innovation efforts (product quality upgrading) in a more competitive environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberto Torrini, 2016. "Labour, profit and housing rent shares in Italian GDP: long-run trends and recent patterns," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 318, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_318_16
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    Cited by:

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    2. Claire Giordano & Francesco Zollino, 2017. "Macroeconomic estimates of Italy�s mark-ups in the long-run, 1861-2012," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 39, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    3. Francesco Bloise & Irene Brunetti & Valeria Cirillo, 2022. "Firm strategies and distributional dynamics: labour share in Italian medium-large firms," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 39(2), pages 623-655, July.
    4. Alessandro Bellocchi & Giovanni Marin & Giuseppe Travaglini, 2021. "The Great Fall of Labor Share:Micro Determinants for EU Countries Over 2011-2019," Working Papers 2102, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2021.
    5. Roberto Iacono & Marco Ranaldi, 2018. "Sources of Inequality in Italy," Working Papers 479, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    6. Giacomo Gabbuti, 2018. "Labour Shares and Income Inequality: Insights from Italian Economic History, 1895-2015," HHB Working Papers Series 13, The Historical Household Budgets Project.
    7. Martino Tasso, 2020. "Do details matter? An analysis of Italian personal income tax," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1301, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    8. Ivan D. Trofimov, 2019. "Stability of Labour Shares: Evidence from OECD Economies," South-Eastern Europe Journal of Economics, Association of Economic Universities of South and Eastern Europe and the Black Sea Region, vol. 17(1), pages 57-89.
    9. Nickel, Christiane & Bobeica, Elena & Koester, Gerrit & Lis, Eliza & Porqueddu, Mario, 2019. "Understanding low wage growth in the euro area and European countries," Occasional Paper Series 232, European Central Bank.
    10. Mr. Alvar Kangur, 2018. "Competitiveness and Wage Bargaining Reform in Italy," IMF Working Papers 2018/061, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Sergio De Nardis & Francesca Parente, 2022. "Technology and task changes in the major EU countries," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(2), pages 391-413, April.
    12. Jasmine Mondolo, 2021. "Macroeconomic dynamics and the role of market power. The case of Italy," DEM Working Papers 2021/17, Department of Economics and Management.
    13. Monica Amici & Emmanuele Bobbio & Roberto Torrini, 2018. "Patterns of Convergence (Divergence) in the Euro Area: Profitability Versus Cost and Price Indicators," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 4(3), pages 367-384, November.
    14. Claire Giordano & Francesco Zollino, 2021. "Long‐Run Factor Accumulation And Productivity Trends In Italy," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(3), pages 741-803, July.
    15. Effrosyni Adamopoulou & Emmanuele Bobbio & Marta De Philippis & Federico Giorgi, 2016. "Allocative efficiency and aggregate wage dynamics in Italy," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 340, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    16. Mondolo, Jasmine, 2021. "Macroeconomic dynamics and the role of market power. The case of Italy," MPRA Paper 110172, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 05 Oct 2021.
    17. Corbellini, Aldo & Magnani, Marco & Morelli, Gianluca, 2021. "Labor market analysis through transformations and robust multivariate models," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    18. Mr. Daniel Garcia-Macia, 2020. "Labor Costs and Corporate Investment in Italy," IMF Working Papers 2020/038, International Monetary Fund.
    19. Luigi Bonatti, 2016. "Anemic economic growth in advanced economies: structural factors and the impotence of expansionary macroeconomic policies," DEM Working Papers 2016/11, Department of Economics and Management.
    20. Mondolo, Jasmine, 2020. "Macro and microeconomic evidence on investment, factor shares, firm and labor dynamics in Italy and in Trentino," MPRA Paper 99138, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Ignazio Visco, 2019. "Stabilità e sviluppo in un'economia globale (Stability and development in a global economy)," Moneta e Credito, Economia civile, vol. 72(285), pages 3-13.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    factor shares; returns on capital; productivity; mark-ups;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • L32 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Public Enterprises; Public-Private Enterprises
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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