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Public finance consolidation and fairness across living generations: the case of Italy

Author

Listed:
  • Paolo Pertile

    () (Department of Economics (University of Verona))

  • Veronica Polin

    () (Department of Economics (University of Verona))

  • Pietro Rizza

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Marzia Romanelli

    () (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

The paper is a contribution to the study of the redistributive impact of public sector intervention across living generations. We aim to work on a comprehensive approach, so that reforms involving several taxation and spending programmes, possibly implemented over several years, may be assessed. By adapting methods from the generational accounting literature, we investigate the impact on fairness between living generations of fiscal policies undertaken in Italy between 1990 and 2008. Large intergenerational differences exist in net tax rates calculated over the residual lifetime horizon, which tend to be substantially higher for young generations. Pension reforms introduced in the '90s play a major role in explaining these differences. We conclude that a significant contribution to the sustainability of these reforms might have come at the price of an unequal distribution of sacrifices across living generations. Awareness of these differences could help in designing additional consolidation efforts in the perspective of achieving intergenerational fairness in Italy.

Suggested Citation

  • Paolo Pertile & Veronica Polin & Pietro Rizza & Marzia Romanelli, 2012. "Public finance consolidation and fairness across living generations: the case of Italy," Working Papers 04/2012, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ver:wpaper:04/2012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Nicola Sartor, 2001. "The Long-run Effects of the Italian Pension Reforms," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(1), pages 83-111, January.
    6. Antoine Bommier & Ronald Lee & Tim Miller & Stéphane Zuber, 2010. "Who Wins and Who Loses? Public Transfer Accounts for US Generations Born 1850 to 2090," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 36(1), pages 1-26.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational equity; generational accounting; fiscal policy;

    JEL classification:

    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General

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