Economic inequality, social immobility and sluggish growth: advancing some interpretations about the links between Italy’s "malaises"

Author/s Maurizio Franzini
Publishing Year 2019 Issue 2018/288 Language Italian
Pages 17 P. 115-131 File size 131 KB
DOI 10.3280/IC2018-288005
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

Let us consider three "facts". First: almost thirty years have passed since, in the early 1990s, income inequality in Italy experienced a sudden worsening. Since then, Italy is one of the advanced countries with the highest inequality. Second: recent studies about the correlation between parents’ incomes and children’s income show that Italy is a country in which intergenerational social mobility is very limited and, therefore, economic inequality tends to move consistently from one generation to the next. And this has taken place for a long time. Third: since the mid-1990s, i.e. a few years after the worsening of inequality, industrial productivity (in particular of labor) has started slowing down and has led to a reduction of economic growth, to a point that we could talk about an economic decline. The first goal of this article is to unpack these statements, by paying particular attention to inequality which, in many respects, constitutes a more complex phenomenon than the other two. The second goal is to illustrate some possible connections between these three "facts", which are normally not adequately considered but can help us understand the roots of the problems in which Italy has experienced for years and identify some possible solutions.

Keywords: Inequality, Social mobility, Economic decline

  1. Acemoglu Daron, Robinson James (2012), Why Nations Fail. The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty Random House, New York (tr. it. Perché le nazioni falliscono, Il Saggiatore, Milano, 2013).
  2. Alvaredo Facundo, Atkinson Anthony B., Piketty Thomas, Saez Emmanuel (2013), "The top 1% in international and historical perspectives", in Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 27, n. 3, pp. 3-20.
  3. Atkinson Anthony B., Piketty Thomas, Saez Emmanuel. (2011), "Top incomes in the long run of history", in Journal of Economic Literature, vol. 49, n. 1, pp. 3-71.
  4. Bloise Francesco, Fantozzi Roberto, Raitano Michele, Ricci Chiara (2018), “L’andamento di lungo periodo della distribuzione salariale in Italia”, in Il mercato rende disuguali? La distribuzione dei redditi in Italia, a cura di M. Franzini e M. Raitano, Il Mulino, Bologna
  5. Bound John, Johnson George (1992), “Changes in the Structure of Wages in the 1980s: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations”, American Economic Review, vol. 82, pp. 371-92.
  6. Brandolini Andrea (2005), "La disuguaglianza di reddito in Italia nell'ultimo decennio", Stato e mercato, n. 2, pp. 207-230.
  7. Causa Orsetta, Hermansen Michael (2017), “Income redistribution through taxes and transfers across OECD countries”, OECD Economics Department Working Papers, No. 1453
  8. Ciccarone Giuseppe, Saltari Enrico (2010), “Produttività e capitale innovativo”, in L’Italia possibile, a cura di G. Ciccarone, M. Franzini, E. Saltari, Brioschi, Milano
  9. Corak Miles (2013), “Income Inequality, Equality of Opportunity, and Intergenerational Mobility”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 27, n. 3, pp.79-102.
  10. Dabla Norris E., Kochhar, K., Suphaphiphat, N., Ricka, F., Tsounta, E. (2015), “Causes and Consequences of Income Inequality: A Global Perspective”, IMF Staff Discussion Note. Washington DC, IMF.
  11. Franzini Maurizio (2013), Disuguaglianze inaccettabili. L’immobilità economica in Italia, Laterza, Roma-Bari.
  12. Franzini Maurizio, Raitano Michele, Vona Francesco (2013), “The Channels of Intergenerational Transmission of Inequality: A Cross-Country Comparison”, Rivista Italiana degli Economisti, v. 18, iss. 2, pp. 201-26
  13. Franzini Maurizio, Granaglia Enrico, Raitano Michele. (2014), Dobbiamo preoccuparci dei ricchi? Le disuguaglianze estreme nel capitalismo contemporaneo, Il Mulino, Bologna.
  14. Franzini Maurizio., Pianta Mario (2016), Disuguaglianze. Quante sono, come si combattono, Laterza, Roma-Bari.
  15. Franzini Maurizio, Patriarca Fabrizio, Raitano Michele (2016), “The channels of influence of parents’ background on children’s earnings: the role of human and relational capital in monopolistic competition”, CIRET Working Paper, n. 3/2016.
  16. Franzini Maurizio, Raitano Michele (2018), “Le tendenze della disuguaglianza dei redditi disponibili e di mercato", in Il mercato rende disuguali? La distribuzione dei redditi in Italia, a cura di M. Franzini e M. Raitano, Il Mulino, Bologna
  17. Katz Lawrence, Murph Kevin (1992), “Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-87: Supply and Demand Factors”, Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 107, pp.35-78.
  18. Krueger Alan B. (2012), The Rise and Consequences of Inequality in the United States --
  19. Naticchioni Paolo, Raitano Michele, Vittori Claudia (2016), “La Meglio Gioventù: Earnings Gaps across Generations and Skills in Italy”, Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, 33(2), p. 233-264.
  20. OCSE (2015), In it Together. Why Less Inequality Benefits All, OCSE, Parigi.
  21. Ostry Johnatan D., Berg Andrew, Tsangarides Chalambros G. (2014), “Redistribution, inequality, and growth”, IMF Staff Discussion Note, Washington D.C.
  22. Raitano Michele (2017), “The trend of earnings inequality in Italy since the ‘90s: what is the role played by education?”, presentazione al IV International Workshop on Computational Economics and Econometrics (IWcee), Roma, CNR, 21 giugno 2017.

Maurizio Franzini, Disuguaglianza economica, immobilità sociale e crescita stagnante: possibili legami tra i "malesseri" italiani in "ITALIA CONTEMPORANEA" 288/2018, pp 115-131, DOI: 10.3280/IC2018-288005