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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|7361||2010||21 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Review of Economic Dynamics, Volume 13, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 133–153
This paper presents stylized facts on labor supply, income, consumption, wealth, and several measures of consumption and income inequality drawn from the 1980–2006 Survey of Household Income and Wealth (SHIW) conducted by the Bank of Italy. The SHIW provides information on consumption, income and wealth, and a sizable panel component that allows econometricians to estimate sophisticated income, consumption, and wealth processes and to analyze labor market and portfolio transitions. We find that over the sample period income inequality is higher and has grown faster than consumption inequality. Most of the increase in income inequality is related to an increase in the degree of earnings' instability rather than to shifts in the wage structure. We suggest that, in particular, the labor market reforms of the 1990s and 2000s are the most plausible explanation of the increased earnings inequality.
The two decades since the mid-1980s have witnessed dramatic changes in the Italian economy: population aging and falling fertility have been accompanied by a sequence of financial reforms that have liberalized credit markets, a series of labor market reforms that have eliminated indexation of wages and increased labor flexibility, and a major pension reform that has increased the retirement age and reduced retirement benefits for future generations. There have also been dramatic changes to fiscal and monetary policy. A period of rising national debt ended in 1992 with a debt stabilization and slow convergence to the Maastricht criteria, and responsibility for monetary policy was delegated to the European Central Bank, bringing an end to an era of sustained inflation. As a consequence, the current macroeconomic environment in which Italian households choose how much to work, how much to save, and how to allocate their savings among real and financial assets, is very different from the environment of only ten or fifteen years ago. Increasingly, economists are relying on microeconomic data to analyze macroeconomic events and policy shifts; thus, given the rapid changes associated with policy reforms, the Italian economy represents an ideal context. This paper draws attention to some of the data that can be used by applied research to analyze these reforms by presenting some stylized facts on labor supply, income, consumption, and wealth drawn from the Survey of Household Income and Wealth (SHIW), a representative survey of the Italian population conducted by the Bank of Italy. This is an interesting case because, among the OECD countries, Italy ranks very high in terms of income inequality, second only to the US and the UK. In addition, income inequality increased substantially in the 1990s, but the education premium, which is often associated with a widening wage structure, has remained approximately constant. The SHIW has several interesting features. First, it lends itself to the construction of income and consumption series based on microeconomic variables from 1980 to 2006. Second, it provides information also on wealth, and the three variables are available within the same dataset. Third, it has a sizable panel component that enables the estimation of sophisticated income and consumption processes, and analysis of labor market and portfolio transitions. Fourth, income, consumption, and labor supply measures of the SHIW track the corresponding National Accounts aggregate remarkably well. Finally, for each of the main variables of interest to macroeconomists, SHIW contains detailed breakdowns, allowing ap- plied researchers to experiment with alternative measures of income (from labor, capital, transfers), consumption (durable, non-durables, imputed rents) and wealth (real assets, financial assets, debt, and components thereof). The paper is organized as follows. Section 2 discusses the SHIW, including survey design, quality of data, and character- istics of the panel component. Section 3 describes the macroeconomic context in Italy for the period under analysis, and compares sample averages with national accounts statistics. Section 4 presents trends in hours and wage inequality and Section 5 presents the patterns of consumption and income inequality. We show that both measures of inequality increased over the sample period, but that income inequality has grown faster than consumption inequality, which is similar to the findings for the United States (Blundell et al., 2008) and the United Kingdom (Blundell and Preston, 1998). In Section 6 we discuss some possible explanations for these findings for Italy, and especially those related to the role of credit market reform and financial liberalization, labor market reforms, and changes in the nature of income shocks. Our analysis shows that after declining through most of the 1970s and 1980s, income inequality in Italy grew dramatically in the early 1990s and stayed at this higher level until very recently. We find that most of the increase in income inequality is due to an increase in the degree of instability of earnings and incomes rather than to shifts in the wage structure (consistent with the stability of the education premium). We suggest that the labor market reforms of the 1990s and 2000s may be at the basis of the increased earnings instability. While there is evidence of some increase in consumption inequality, this occurred at a much slower rate than the increased income inequality, in agreement with models of intertemporal choice in which consumers largely smooth transitory income shocks.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper has presented some stylized facts on labor supply, income, consumption, wealth, and several measures of consumption and income inequality drawn from the Bank of Italy’s SHIW. SHIW provides information on consumption and income from 1980 to 2006, and includes a sizable panel component that allows econometricians to estimate income, consumption and wealth processes and to analyze labor market and portfolio transitions. Given the population changes associated with the demographic transition and policy reforms that have occurred in Italy over the last two decades, the data represent an ideal context for applied macroeconomic study. Our analysis shows that after declining through most of the 1970s and 1980s, income inequality in Italy grew dramatically in the early 1990s and stayed at this higher level until very recently. Most of the increase is transitory, i.e., it is related to a variety of economic phenomena that increase the degree of instability of earnings and incomes rather than to shifts in the wage structure, which appear either to be episodic (during the 1993 recession) or pick up only in the most recent years. While there is evidence of some increase in consumption inequality, this occurred at a much slower rate than the increased income inequality. We can interpret this through the lens of a standard life-cycle permanent income hypothesis framework, in which consumers respond very strongly to permanent shocks, and much less completely to transitory shocks (unless credit market imperfections produce excess sensitivity). As shown in Fig. 20, the variance of permanent shocks has not changed signifi- cantly over the sample period, while the variance of transitory shocks has increased. This means that consumption inequality increases, but not as much as it would have grown if most of the increase in income inequality had been due to changes in the wage structure.