Is the Kuznets curve still alive? Evidence from Italian household budgets, 1881-1961
We investigate secular changes in the distribution of personal expenditure in Italy. To this end we present a new data set, consisting of 4,370 family-level budgets scattered over the years 1881-1961. Our methodology is innovative for this kind of study. Italy's secular trend proves to have been egalitarian, and to have accelerated in periods of fast output growth. Sectoral, residential, and demographic changes associated with "modern economic growth" account for a minor part of the observed changes in expenditure distribution, suggesting that other factors, such as wage differentials, play a dominant role in explaining the dynamics of inequality.
Rossi, N; Toniolo, G; Vecchi, G
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