Economics at your fingertips  

No country for young people. Poverty and age in Italy, 1948-2018

Massimo Baldini (), Giulia Mancini () and Giovanni Vecchi

No 9, HHB Working Papers Series from The Historical Household Budgets Project


The paper explores the changing risk of poverty for older and younger generations of Italians throughout the republican period, 1948 to the present day. We show that poverty rates have decreased steadily for all age groups, but that youth has been left behind. The risk of poverty for children aged 0-17, relative to adults over 65, has increased steadily over time: in 1977, children faced a risk of poverty 30 percent lower than the elderly, but by 2016 they are 5 times likelier to be poor than someone in the age range of their grandparents. This intergenerational reversal of fortune is unprecedented in Italy’s post-WW2 history. We also assess the impact of the Great Recession on living standards by age, finding that the young have been hit hardest, particularly in Southern regions. What explains the extra poverty risk associated with young age? Our analysis points to the welfare state, which offers better protection for the elderly than it does for the young and their families. We find that the impact of cash transfers on the incidence of child poverty is considerably lower in Italy than in most comparable countries. Overall, in the last seven decades, Italy has become no country for young people.

Keywords: age; cash transfers; Great Recession; living conditions; poverty; wellbeing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C42 D31 I32 N30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 41 pages
Date: 2018-05-22
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age, nep-eur and nep-his
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) ... i_vecchi_Q0Kp2hh.pdf 9_baldini_mancini_vecchi_Q0Kp2hh.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in HHB Working Papers Series from The Historical Household Budgets Project
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Giuliana Freschi ( this e-mail address is bad, please contact ).

Page updated 2023-03-16
Handle: RePEc:hbu:wpaper:9