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inequalities

Economic inequalities and «social malaise» in Italy

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in the issue
The Italian case
Italy is widely perceived as a country that is going through a phase of «malaise», mainly for economic reasons. Yet this «malaise» does not seem to emerge from the indicators that should pick it up. Income inequality and poverty have been pretty well stable for several years. After reviewing the development of inequality in the last two decades, these notes try to illustrate some phenomena that can explain the widespread perception of «social malaise» and that slip through the net of the traditional indicators. only subscribers can see the full article

The segmentation of the labour market during a period of crisis: a comparative perspective on the case of Italy

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This essay analyses the differences between workers with permanent and temporary contracts in both Italy and other countries of the EU-15, partly in the light of the present crisis that may have worsened the disadvantage of those working with fixed-term contracts by reducing the possibility to renew their contracts. The presence of inequalities between the two types of worker and the consequent forms of segmentation is evaluated both statically, verifying the existence of wage differentials, and dynamically, using transition matrixes to observe how long subjects remain at disadvantageous levels. Finally, in the light of the recent debate on social benefits and flexicurity and the main empirical evidence, it offers some thoughts on the most suitable policies for facing the problems in Italy.only subscribers can see the full article

Differences of Governance and Institutional Inequalities in Long-term Care Policies

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The economic and financial crisis and the related austerity policies have heightened regional differences in health and social policies. Focusing on long-term care policies, the study investigates the experiences of regional governance by analysing regional social and health plans in Veneto, Emilia Romagna and the Marches. The regions present very heterogeneous regulatory contexts characterized by different levels of integration between the different welfare policies, but also between local services within the same area of intervention, and integration of formal care services and informal care provided by the family. Differences in the experiences of governance of integration in long-term care policies have to be considered as institutional inequalities in the response to similar needs.only subscribers can see the full article

The Fight Against Inequalities and the Efficiency of Social Spending

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Equality and efficiency are the reasons why public provision and production of social services need to be supported. This does not mean doing away with all monetary benefits: a minimum income, for example, is urgently needed for our country. However, the idea that the public provision and production of social services should be scaled down is highly debatable yet supported by many left-wingers.only subscribers can see the full article

Developing Heath (for all) beyond the Gdp

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For a long time, the research community has been trying to find indices that can be used as an alternative to the Gdp, which has often been criticized for its incapacity to measure the overall development of a country. A composite indicator, the Human development index (Hdi), has been used as an alternative tool, especially for comparing countries. In addition to the Gdp, the Hdi also takes into consideration health and education, contributing to the growing idea of multidimensional development as something that is not closely related to income. The Hdi has also been disaggregated at regional level in Italy and used to analyse inequalities in health. Other synthetic indices were constructed to explain the well-being of the Italian regions. An area index was also built to measure economic, social, health, and cultural dependence between cities. It is therefore becoming increasingly necessary to find more complex indices that take into consideration all these aspects, to assess the various local realities in order to plan intervention programmes to reduce social inequalities and health.only subscribers can see the full article

Comparison of Taxation and Redistribution Options: a Guide to their Interpretation

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The union plays a fundamental role to safeguard workers’ standard of living. To aid their mission the distributive action of the public sector and the assessment of efficacy of various redistribution tools are crucially important. In this paper, Beniamino Lapadula highlights the necessity of a new in-come policy that clearly distinguishes between the positions of the right and the left, especially regarding the hypothesis for a reduction in taxation which has found keen supporters from the left. The union, however, believes active policies and the high quality of public services represent the only tools to guarantee the extension of citizenship rights and the reinforcement of social cohesion. An analysis is given of the present economic situation characterised by pronounced inequalities in the labour market. The proposals and reforms advanced and achieved in recent years on taxation and redistribution are presented, highlighting the necessity to improve measures and interventions developed in a fragmentary way in the previous legislature, for which two reform hypotheses have been put forward (cfr. the proposal of C. De Vincenti and of P. Bosi, M. Baldini and M. Matteuzzi, infra).only subscribers can see the full article

The Big Society, the Welfare State and Inequality

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The debate that has accompanied the British Prime Minister David Cameron’s Big Society does not give sufficient attention to questions of equality. The article offers, first of all, some reflections on the subject, drawing attention to the risk that the Big Society might sharply increase inequalities, whatever level of generosity it might express. On inequality, it discusses the possible limitations of a solution exclusively based on public welfare, quite apart from the problem of the resources available. Finally, drawing on the work of Lord Beveridge on voluntary action, it briefly discusses some possible ways of integrating welfare and society that might obviate the risk of excessive and unjustifiable inequalities.only subscribers can see the full article

After the Transition: Poverty, Inequalities and Welfare System in Eastern Europe

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Poverty in post communist countries of Eastern Europe is the result not only of the transition to a market economy but also the rise to power of a new incapable and corrupt ruling class, the political priorities of governments and incoherent social policy measures. The most evident consequences of this transformation is a growth in poverty and income disparity. In fact there are great national and sub-regional differences. The situation is particularly critical in the Community of Independent States and in the south-eastern European countries, whereas it is less so in Central-Eastern Europe. Measures to reduce poverty have turned out to be inefficient and ineffective even if tailored to a definite target and means tested. Most reforms on welfare have been concentrated on pensions. With impending EU enlargement, increasingly greater influence must be yielded by the European social model or the strategy proposed by the World Bank. The central point seems to pivot on the matter of what political, social, institutional subject can initiate a broader reform of the welfare state.only subscribers can see the full article

Income Distribution in the Italian Regions and Influence of Equivalence Scales

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in the issue
Company welfare
In income-distribution analyses and in most selective welfare policies the family is regarded as the most appropriate unit for evaluating individual living standards. There are, however, methodological problems in comparing the incomes of families of differing size and composition: the incomes of differently structured units are made comparable by equivalence scales, but there is no clear agreement in the literature as to which is the most appropriate scale. Different scales attribute different living standards to units according to their size, making it more or less likely that they will end up near the bottom of the distribution and satisfy the requirements for being able to receive selective welfare transfer payments. There is, therefore, a wellfounded possibility that a choice that seems secondary and purely technical, like that of the equivalence scale, can modify the relative position of families of different sizes and, as there are structural differences in the diffusion of different family types in Italian regions, the average economic conditions of those residing in the different areas.only subscribers can see the full article