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Inequality across cohorts of households: evidence from Italy

  • Gabriella Berloffa


  • Paola Villa


In this paper we examine the evolution of household equivalent income for "cohorts of households" defined by the age of the household's head, using Italian data from the Survey of Household Income and Wealth (SHIW), for the period between 1989 and 2004. The descriptive and econometric analysis reveals a deterioration of the economic conditions and prospects of young cohorts of households in comparison with older cohorts. This phenomenon is due to the joint occurrence of various events, like the institutional changes of the labour market, the poor economic performance of the economy and its adverse effects on white and blue collars, the new rules introduced for the pension system, and an exceptional increase in house prices and rents. Decreasing returns to education, the reduction in household size and the increase in the number of income recipients - due to both rising female participation and children living longer with their parents - are also found to have significant effects on the differences between cohorts at the same age.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 0711.

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Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpde:0711
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  1. Amanda Gosling & Stephen Machin & Costas Meghir, 1994. "The changing distribution of male wages in the UK," IFS Working Papers W94/13, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Tito Boeri & Andrea Brandolini, 2004. "The Age of Discontent: Italian Households at the Beginning of the Decade," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 63(3-4), pages 449-487, December.
  3. Paul Beaudry & David Green, 1997. "Cohort Patterns in Canadian Earnings: Assessing the Role of Skill Premia in Inequality Trends," NBER Working Papers 6132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Daniele Franco, 2002. "Italy: A Never-Ending Pension Reform," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security Pension Reform in Europe, pages 211-262 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Barbieri Paolo & Scherer Stefani, 2005. "Le conseguenze sociali della flessibilizzazione del mercato del lavoro in Italia," Stato e mercato, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 291-322.
  6. Lars Osberg, 2003. "Long Run Trends in Income Inequality in the United States, UK, Sweden, Germany and Canada: A Birth Cohort View," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 29(1), pages 121-141, Winter.
  7. Reinhard Hujer & Bernd Fitzenberger & Reinhold Schnabel & Thomas E. MaCurdy, 2001. "Testing for uniform wage trends in West-Germany: A cohort analysis using quantile regressions for censored data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 41-86.
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