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Measuring WellbeingA History of Italian Living Standards$
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Giovanni Vecchi

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199944590

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199944590.001.0001

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(p.373) 10 Wealth
Measuring Wellbeing

Luigi Cannari

Giovanni D’Alessio

Oxford University Press

What do we mean by the “wealth of the Italians”? How do we go about measuring it? Who possesses it? The chapter answers these questions by providing the first generation of estimates of household wealth in Italy since 1861. After a sluggish start, Italians’ propensity to save became higher than in any other country in the world, except Japan. By 2007, the year marking the start of the Great Recession, the wealth of Italians was about six times their income. The history of the last 20–25 years however, highlights the difficulties in adapting to a rapidly changing international environment. Unless they react to the current cultural and institutional sclerosis, Italians will not be rich forever.

Keywords:   Household wealth, Savings, Home, Durable goods, Automobiles, Corrado Gini, Public debt, Thomas Piketty, Distribution of wealth, Inheritance

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