La Meglio Gioventù: Earnings Gaps Across Generations and Skills in Italy

30 Pages Posted: 3 May 2014

See all articles by Paolo Naticchioni

Paolo Naticchioni

University of Rome I; University of Cassino

Michele Raitano

Sapienza University of Rome

Claudia Vittori

University of Rome La Sapienza

Abstract

This paper documents the evolution of the experience-earnings profiles of private employees in Italy over the first six years of working career across three birth cohorts (1965-1969, 1970- 1974, 1975-1979). We explore the average trends and disentangle how the patterns vary according to individual skills, defined in terms of both educational levels and percentiles of the unconditional earnings distribution.Unlike previous studies, and in contrast with the expectations prompted by the skill-biased literature, our results surprisingly show that the Italian "best of youth", i.e. the best workers of the most recent cohorts (the high skilled), have suffered, compared to the previous cohorts, an earnings penalty much more severe than that experienced by unskilled workers. This finding also raises questions about the effectiveness of the European Employment Strategy, which repeatedly stressed the importance of human capital and technological knowledge as main drivers for European performance.

Keywords: youth, cohorts, education, earnings, Italy

JEL Classification: J24, J31

Suggested Citation

Naticchioni, Paolo and Raitano, Michele and Vittori, Claudia, La Meglio Gioventù: Earnings Gaps Across Generations and Skills in Italy. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8140. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2432424

Paolo Naticchioni (Contact Author)

University of Rome I ( email )

Piazzale Aldo Moro 5
Roma, Rome 00185
Italy

University of Cassino ( email )

Cassino
Italy

Michele Raitano

Sapienza University of Rome ( email )

Via del Castro Laurenziano 9
Roma, Rome 00161
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/a/uniroma1.it/micheleraitano-eng/

Claudia Vittori

University of Rome La Sapienza ( email )

Via del Castro Laurenziano
Roma, Rome 00161
Italy

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