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Earnings Dispersion, Low Pay and Household Poverty in Italy, 1977-1998

  • Andrea Brandolini


    (Bank of Italy, Economic Research Department)

  • Piero Cipollone


    (Bank of Italy, Economic Research Department)

  • Paolo Sestito


    (Bank of Italy and Ministry of Labour)

The paper presents estimates on the dispersion of earnings and the proportion of low-paid employees in Italy in the period 1977-1998, and it measures the differential impact of low pay and employment status on households� poverty. The estimates are computed from the micro-data of the Historical Archive of the Bank of Italy�s Survey of Household Income and Wealth. The distribution of net earnings narrowed from the late 1970s until the end of the 1980s, abruptly widened in the early 1990s and experienced little modification in the rest of the decade. The trend in the share of low-paid workers evolved in parallel with that of earnings inequality. Finally, the probability of being in poverty is more closely correlated with the number of household members employed, particularly other than the head, than with low pay.

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Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 427.

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Date of creation: Nov 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_427_01
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  1. Brandolini, A., 1999. "The Distribution of Personal Income in Post-War Italy: Source Description, Date Quality, and the Time Pattern of Income Inequality," Papers 350, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  2. Wolfson, Michael C, 1994. "When Inequalities Diverge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 353-58, May.
  3. Christopher L. Erikson & Andrea Ichino, 1994. "Wage Differentials in Italy: Market Forces, Institutions, and Inflation," NBER Working Papers 4922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free95-1, July.
  5. Cowell, Frank A., 1989. "Sampling variance and decomposable inequality measures," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 27-41, September.
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