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La Meglio Gioventù: Earnings Gaps across Generations and Skills in Italy

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  • Naticchioni, Paolo

    () (University of Rome 3)

  • Raitano, Michele

    () (Sapienza University of Rome)

  • Vittori, Claudia

    (Sapienza University of Rome)

Abstract

This paper documents the evolution of the experience-earnings profiles of private employees in Italy over the first six years of working career across three birth cohorts (1965-1969, 1970- 1974, 1975-1979). We explore the average trends and disentangle how the patterns vary according to individual skills, defined in terms of both educational levels and percentiles of the unconditional earnings distribution. Unlike previous studies, and in contrast with the expectations prompted by the skill-biased literature, our results surprisingly show that the Italian "best of youth", i.e. the best workers of the most recent cohorts (the high skilled), have suffered, compared to the previous cohorts, an earnings penalty much more severe than that experienced by unskilled workers. This finding also raises questions about the effectiveness of the European Employment Strategy, which repeatedly stressed the importance of human capital and technological knowledge as main drivers for European performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Naticchioni, Paolo & Raitano, Michele & Vittori, Claudia, 2014. "La Meglio Gioventù: Earnings Gaps across Generations and Skills in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 8140, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8140
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:italej:v:3:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s40797-017-0050-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Federico Revelli, 2017. "Voter Turnout in Italian Municipal Elections, 2002–2013," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 3(2), pages 151-165, July.
    3. Alfonso Rosolia & Roberto Torrini, 2016. "The generation gap: a cohort analysis of earnings levels, dispersion and initial labor market conditions in Italy, 1974-2014," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 366, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    4. repec:eee:ecmode:v:68:y:2018:i:c:p:178-189 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Italy; earnings; education; cohorts; youth;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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