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SOS incomes: Simulated effects of COVID-19 and emergency benefits on individual and household income distribution in Italy

Author

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  • Giovanni Gallo

    () (Sapienza University of Rome)

  • Michele Raitano

    () (Sapienza University of Rome)

Abstract

Using a static microsimulation model based on a link between survey and administrative data, the article investigates the effects of the pandemic on income distribution in Italy. The analysis focuses both on individuals and on households, by simulating changes in labour incomes and in equivalised incomes, respectively. For both units of observations, changes before and after the emergency income benefits introduced by the Government to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 emergency are compared. The effects of the pandemic are simulated for the whole 2020 under three different scenarios capturing an increasing length of the pandemic. We find that the pandemic has led to a relatively greater drop in labour incomes for those lying in the poorest quantiles, but they were the same having benefited more from the emergency benefits. As a result, compared with the ‘No-COVID scenario’, income poverty and inequality indexes significantly grow in all scenarios when emergency benefits are not considered, whereas the poverty increase greatly narrows and inequality levels slightly decrease once benefits are considered. This evidence signals the crucial role played by cash social transfers to contrast the most serious economic consequences of the pandemic.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Gallo & Michele Raitano, 2020. "SOS incomes: Simulated effects of COVID-19 and emergency benefits on individual and household income distribution in Italy," Working Papers 566, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  • Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2020-566
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    File URL: http://www.ecineq.org/milano/WP/ECINEQ2020-566.pdf
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    income distribution; inequality; poverty; emergency benefits; microsimulations; Italy; Covid-19;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • E27 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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