Intergenerational mobility in Italy: Income distribution and regional analysis

An interesting new piece in VoxEu by Paolo Acciari, Alberto Polo and Gianluca Violante on inter-generational mobility in Italy:

“In a new paper (Acciari et al. 2019), we add to this recent wave of studies and introduce a new dataset that allows us to develop the first systematic investigation of intergenerational income mobility for the Italian economy. Our starting point is the administrative electronic database on individual tax returns maintained by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance. From this data source, we extracted a sample of two cohorts of Italians born between 1942-1963 and 1972-1983. We matched parents and children through their social security numbers. Our final dataset contains nearly 650,000 parent–child pairs with detailed income information for three years in each cohort.”

Table 1 National quintile transition matrix (%)


“We follow up on this last finding by exploring the geographical differences in inter-generational upward mobility across the 110 Italian provinces. We document a staggering amount of variation, with a steep south-north gradient, as depicted in Figure 2. Relative to the south of Italy, provinces in the north (especially the regions in the northeast), are both more egalitarian – i.e. they display higher relative mobility – and more upward-mobile – i.e. they display higher absolute mobility. In the north, children from parents with unequal background are more similar in their economic outcomes when adults, and children from poor parents fare better when adults. The level of upward mobility in northern Italy exceeds that of Scandinavian countries”


Figure 2: Estimated transition probability from bottom to top 20% of income distribution across provinces

Posted by at 10:33 AM

Labels: Inclusive Growth


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