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Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich CountriesThirty Countries' Experiences$
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Brian Nolan, Wiemer Salverda, Daniele Checchi, Ive Marx, Abigail McKnight, István György Tóth, and Herman G. van de Werfhorst

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199687428

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687428.001.0001

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How Labour Market Policies can Foster Earnings Inequality

(p.369) Chapter 16 Italy
Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich Countries

Gabriele Ballarino

Michela Braga

Massimiliano Bratti

Daniele Checchi

Antonio Filippin

Carlo Fiorio

Marco Leonardi

Elena Meschi

Francesco Scervini

Oxford University Press

Italy has a high level of income inequality but this has not increased substantially over the past decades. Two main dimensions: the sharp division between a more developed North and a backwards South, and a weak state explain the relatively high inequality. In fact, the general stability of inequality over time hides substantial changes underneath. The most significant change concerns the young generations, which are facing a very different labour market. Flexibilization at the margin has reinforced the two-tier nature of the labour market. Up to the recent financial crisis, the stability of inequality has been maintained with a combination of high levels of private net wealth and high levels of public debt. Families have resisted the decline in income opportunities by depleting assets, but may now have reached the limits and revert to a lower consumption path.

Keywords:   income inequality, North–South division, two-tier labour market, wealth, Italy, social impacts, health, weak state, poverty, political participation

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