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The Dynamics and Persistence of Poverty: Evidence from Italy

  • Francesco Devicienti
  • Valentina Gualtieri
  • Mariacristina Rossi

This article studies the dynamics and persistence of poverty in Italy during the nineties (1994-2001). Two definitions of poverty are analyzed: income poverty and a multidimensional index of life-style deprivation. For both definitions, poverty exit and re-entry rates are estimated and combined to compute measures of poverty persistence over multiple spells. A picture of high poverty turnover emerges according to either definition. Multi-spell hazard rate models have been estimated to assess the relative importance of several demographic and labor market characteristics in shaping poverty persistence at the individual level. The results highlight the weaknesses of the Italian labor market, the insufficiencies of the existing social security system and the deep territorial dualism in generating persistent poverty for certain groups of the population. We have stressed the ability of the two definitions to provide a generally consistent characterization of the poverty persistence risks faced by various population subgroups, but also the additional insights to be gained by analyzing the two definitions in parallel in a longitudinal context.

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Paper provided by Collegio Carlo Alberto in its series Carlo Alberto Notebooks with number 173.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:173
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  1. Robert G. Valletta, 2006. "The Ins And Outs Of Poverty In Advanced Economies: Government Policy And Poverty Dynamics In Canada, Germany, Great Britain, And The United States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 52(2), pages 261-284, 06.
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  3. Francesco Devicienti, 2001. "Estimating Poverty Persistence in Britain," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 1, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
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  7. Franco Peracchi, 2002. "The European Community Household Panel: A review," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 63-90.
  8. Joseph Deutsch & Jacques Silber, 2005. "Measuring Multidimensional Poverty: An Empirical Comparison Of Various Approaches," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(1), pages 145-174, 03.
  9. Conchita D'Ambrosio & Joseph Deutsch & Jacques Silber, 2009. "Multidimensional approaches to poverty measurement: an empirical analysis of poverty in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, based on the European panel," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(8), pages 951-961.
  10. Sen, Amartya, 1997. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292975, March.
  11. Massimo V. Rostagno & Francesca Utili, 1998. "The Italian Social Protection System; The Poverty of Welfare," IMF Working Papers 98/74, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Lorenzo Cappellari & Stephen P. Jemkins, 2002. "Who Stays Poor? Who Becomes Poor? Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C60-C67, March.
  13. Ambra Poggi, 2003. "Does persistence of social exclusion exist in Spain?," Working Papers wpdea0308, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
  14. Bruce D. Meyer, 1988. "Unemployment Insurance And Unemployment Spells," NBER Working Papers 2546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Arnstein Aassve & Simon Burgess & Matt Dickson & Carol Propper, 2005. "Modelling Poverty by not Modelling Poverty: An Application of a Simultaneous Hazards Approach to the UK," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 05/134, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  16. Massimo Baldini & Stefano Toso & Paolo Bosi, 2002. "Targeting welfare in Italy: old problems and perspectives on reform," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 23(1), pages 51-75, March.
  17. Olga Cantó, 2003. "Finding out the Routes to Escape Poverty: The Relevance of Demographic vs. Labor Market Events in Spain," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 49(4), pages 569-588, December.
  18. Anna Giraldo & Enrico Rettore & Ugo Trivellato, 2002. "The persistence of poverty: true state dependence or unobserved heterogeneity? Some evidence from the Italian Survey on Household Income and Wealth," 10th International Conference on Panel Data, Berlin, July 5-6, 2002 B2-1, International Conferences on Panel Data.
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  21. Christopher Whelan & Bertrand Maître, 2006. "Comparing poverty and deprivation dynamics: Issues of reliability and validity," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 303-323, December.
  22. Mary Jo Bane & David T. Ellwood, 1986. "Slipping into and out of Poverty: The Dynamics of Spells," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(1), pages 1-23.
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