Italy leads growing trend in Europe

Published on 24 June 2013 at 11:51

According to a study commissioned by the European Union “Italy is among the countries with the highest level of income inequality, second only to the UK in the EU, and well above the OECD average,” reports Il Sole 24 Ore.

The “Gini – Growing Inequalities’ Impacts” study, based on the Gini index and compiled by researchers at seven European universities, analysed the income dynamics of 30 European countries from the 1980s up to the present day, dividing them in regional catagories. The newspaper continues –

Continental European countries (Germany, France and Benelux) have a low Gini index, between 0.26 and 0.30 and one which is almost stable; northern countries show a rising inequality trend led by Sweden and Finland but starting from very low levels; market economies like the UK have limited welfare and high inequality; […] eastern countries, which before 1989 had levels close to Scandinavia, have now gone in a different direction.

Italy belongs to the Mediterranean countries group, where inequality is rising fast. Italian marginal income ratios rose from 0.27 in the late 1970s to the current level of 0.34. What is worse, wealth is concentrated elder demographic layers and social mobility is falling. According to the authors, the casualisation of the labour market has offset the positive effects of a wider access to high education and –

young workers are more educated but have fewer guarantees, and thus unable to pile up wealth that in turn can lead to property and capital related income.

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