High household wealth is often cited as a key strength of the Italian economy. Both in absolute terms and relative to income, the Italian household sector is wealthier than most euro area peers. A sizable fraction of this wealth is held by the rich and upper middle classes. This paper documents the changes in the Italian household sector’s financial wealth over the past two decades, by constructing the matrix of bilateral financial sectoral exposures. Households became increasingly exposed to the financial sector, which in turn was exposed to the highly indebted real and government sectors. The paper then simulates different financial shocks to gauge the ability of the household sector to absorb losses. Simple illustrative calculations are presented for a fall in the value of government bonds as well as for bank bail-ins versus bailouts.
Andreas Fagereng, Luigi Guiso, Mr. Davide Malacrino, and Luigi Pistaferri
We provide a systematic analysis of the properties of individual returns to wealth using twelve years of population data from Norway’s administrative tax records. We document a number of novel results. First, during our sample period individuals earn markedly different average returns on their financial assets (a standard deviation of 14%) and on their net worth (a standard deviation of 8%). Second, heterogeneity in returns does not arise merely from differences in the allocation of wealth between safe and risky assets: returns are heterogeneous even within asset classes. Third, returns are positively correlated with wealth: moving from the 10th to the 90th percentile of the financial wealth distribution increases the return by 3 percentage points - and by 17 percentage points when the same exercise is performed for the return to net worth. Fourth, wealth returns exhibit substantial persistence over time. We argue that while this persistence partly reflects stable differences in risk exposure and assets scale, it also reflects persistent heterogeneity in sophistication and financial information, as well as entrepreneurial talent. Finally, wealth returns are (mildly) correlated across generations. We discuss the implications of these findings for several strands of the wealth inequality debate.
Rahul Anand, Mr. Saurabh Mishra, and Mr. Shanaka J Peiris
We estimate a unified measure of inclusive growth for emerging markets by integrating their economic growth performance and income distribution outcomes, using data over three decades. Country distributions are calibrated by combining PPP GDP per capita and income distribution from survey data. We apply the microeconomic concept of a social mobility function at the macroeconomic level to measure inclusive growth that is closer to the absolute definition of pro-poor growth. This dynamic measure permits us to focus on inequality as well as distinguish between countries where per capita income growth was the same for the top and the bottom of the income pyramid, by accounting for the pace of growth. Our results indicate that macroeconomic stability, human capital, and structural changes are foundations for achieving inclusive growth. The role of globalization could also be positive with foreign direct investment and trade openess fostering greater inclusiveness, while financial deepening and technological change have no discernible effect.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
The September 2006 report analyzes recent developments, examines the impact of the recent market correction, and assesses potential for capital inflows and equity markets, as well as examining private consumption and trends in inequality. Chapters address financial developments in emerging Asia; the main macroeconomic issues facing policymakers; Asia's external surpluses; Asia's investment decline, and rebalancing growth in China.
This paper studies the role of insider trading in explaining cross-country differences in stock market volatility. The central finding is that countries with more prevalent insider trading have more volatile stock markets, even after one controls for liquidity/maturity of the market and the volatility of the underlying fundamentals (volatility of real output and of monetary and fiscal policies). Moreover, the effect of insider trading is quantitively significant when compared with the effect of economic fundamentals.
This book brings together the views not only of policymakers and academics but also of religious leaders and labor leaders from around the world- including the 1998 Nobel Laureate in Economics, Amartya Sen - who participated in an IMF conference on this topic. Contributors discuss the causes of growing inequality and the complex question of how to use policy to make economic systems more equitable under five headings: perspectives on economic policy and equity, globalization and equitable growth, country experiences in equity-oriented policymaking, design and implementation of policy, and a roundtable discussion on lessons for countries and the IMF. Edited by Vito Tanzi, director of the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF; Ke-young Chu, a senior advisor; and Sanjeev Gupta, a division chief in the department.