The Italian Social Protection System: The Poverty of Welfare


Massimo V. Rostagno ; Francesca Utili

Publication Date:

May 1, 1998

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate


Italy’s system of social protection has come under criticism for being fragmented and excessively skewed toward pensioners and “insiders.” After setting up a consolidated presentation of the social security accounts, this paper provides an empirical assessment of the effectiveness of the welfare system, relying on a survey of households’ incomes and wealth. It concludes that, owing to ill-designed targeting mechanisms, less than a quarter of total spending on the welfare instruments under review accrues to families whose own resources fall short of the poverty line. The paper then proposes a new means-testing formula.


Working Paper No. 1998/074



Publication Date:

May 1, 1998



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