The concentration of personal wealth in Italy: 1995-2016
Salvatore Morelli - CUNY
The Institute of Economics will hold a meeting of its Seminar Series on Tuesday, January 14, 2020: Salvatore Morelli, from the City University of New York, will present the paper "The concentration of personal wealth in Italy: 1995-2016".
In this paper the authors study the distribution and concentration of personal wealth in Italy between 1995 and 2016 using a novel source of data on the full record of inheritance tax files, covering up to 63% of total deceased. Estimates of the shares accrued to top and bottom wealth groups, as well as other inequality indicators, are derived using the estate multiplier method applied to wealth left at death. The main baseline series of wealth concentration is derived to be fully consistent with the National Accounts and suggests that richest 1% of Italian adults increased their share of total personal wealth from 18% to 24% approximately from 1995 to 2016. Differently from what can be estimated from the national survey data, the results suggest strong rise in wealth concentration since the mid 1990s. Whereas the level of Italian wealth concentration is in line with other European countries the time trend is more in line with the US experience. Data also allow a rich disaggregation of the analysis by demographic and geographic characteristics. The reconstruction of regional balance sheet data also allows estimate the first set of geographical disaggregated DINA estimates for wealth distribution. A range of alternative series of wealth concentration helps to better understand the role of adjustments and imputations in driving the most important findings and allows for better historical comparability of the estimates. .