The contribution of tax statistics for analysing regional income disparities in Italy


  • Paolo Di Caro Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance


The study of income inequality within countries is becoming of particular importance, also in the light of the spatial effects of the Great Recession. This paper uses newly available tax record data on the Italian case for providing novel evidence on regional income disparities in this country. Three main objectives are achieved. Income disparities in Italy are characterized by within- and across- regional patterns. Specific dimensions of analysis such as gender, age class, and households’ composition provide additional insights on inequalities in this country. The place-specific effects of the Italian personal income tax and its main elements are quantified and interpreted. Specifically, the redistributive capacity of tax schedules and tax expenditures across and within regions is investigated. In addition, the potential original role of using tax files for studying inequality issues in Italy as in other countries is discussed. The final sections summarises and presents some possible future avenues of research.