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Keywords:

  • E21;
  • social exclusion;
  • inequality;
  • poverty;
  • public spending

Abstract

We examine the dynamics of wealth accumulation distribution in Italy using data drawn from the Survey of Household Income and Wealth, a representative survey of the Italian population conducted by the Bank of Italy. We compare survey data with National Accounts data and discuss sample representativeness, attrition and measurement issues. We then look at wealth inequality (the cross-sectional dispersion of wealth) and wealth mobility (individual transitions across the wealth distribution) and examine the age profile of wealth using repeated cross-sectional data. Finally, we consider various explanations for the pattern of wealth accumulation in Italy, focusing on retirement, bequests, income risk, health shocks and credit market imperfections.