OECD Economic Surveys: Italy

Every 18 months
1999-0340 (online)
1995-3283 (print)
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OECD’s periodic surveys of the Italian economy. Each edition surveys the major challenges faced by the country, evaluates the short-term outlook, and makes specific policy recommendations. Special chapters take a more detailed look at specific challenges. Extensive statistical information is included in charts and graphs.

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OECD Economic Surveys: Italy 2015

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19 Feb 2015
9789264228795 (EPUB) ; 9789264228764 (PDF) ;9789264228757(print)

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This OECD Economic Survey of Italy examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects. Special chapters cover labour market reform and more and better quality jobs.

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  • Basic statistics of Italy, 2013

    This Survey is published on the responsibility of the Economic and Development Review Committee of the OECD, which is charged with the examination of the economic situation of member countries.The Economic situation and policies of Italy were reviewed by the Committee on 12 January 2015. The draft was revised in the light of the discussions and given final approval as the agreed report of the whole Committee on 30 January 2015.The Secretariat’s draft report was prepared for the Committee by Paul O’Brien and Yosuke Jin under the supervision of Patrick Lenain. Hermes Morgavi and Josette Rabesona provided statistical research assistance, and Brigitte Beyeler provided administrative support. The Survey also benefited from contributions by Willem Adema, Jonathan Barr, Ivana Capozza, Chiara Criscuolo and Federica Maiorano.The previous Survey of Italy was issued in May 2013.

  • Executive summary
  • Assessment and recommendations
  • Taking stock of structural reforms

    This table summarises recommendations from previous OECD Economic Surveys and notes significant measures that have been taken since the previous OECD Economic Surveys (May 2013).

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    • Labour market reform for more and better quality jobs

      A well-functioning labour market is indispensable to promote job creation, increase living standards, and develop a cohesive society. In Italy, the various deficiencies of the labour market have resulted in high unemployment, low labour force participation and job-skill mismatch. These deficiencies have contributed to the problem of allocation of resources, income distribution, and low productivity, reducing people’s well-being. The current government, following on past governments’ reforms, is introducing a package of labour market reforms – the Jobs Act – to improve the labour market in a consistent way. The reform will make the labour market more flexible and inclusive, and reduce duality. The long-lasting problem of effective enforcement will need to be overcome, with an increased focus on rapid implementation by the current government. A set of well-designed institutions, not only labour market policies but also the education system and product market regulation, would encourage higher labour force participation, especially among women, and produce more and better quality jobs in a more skill‑intensive economy.

    • Maintaining fiscal sustainability: Structural fiscal issues

      Major progress has been made in moving towards fiscal sustainability, thanks to substantial consolidation on both spending and revenue sides. Further structural improvements can build on these gains and, more fundamentally, support the government’s reform programme aimed at improving productivity and growth. Tax compliance is more expensive for companies in Italy than in most OECD countries, while tax expenditures are very numerous. Simplifying the tax system can raise investment and growth, as well reducing costs in the tax agency and improving compliance. Value for money in public spending is always important but particularly so in a situation of tight budgets. Ad hoc spending reviews have been undertaken, but a systematic approach is needed. Some existing tools to promote value for money can be improved, while reform of public administration, including better use of transparency and anti-corruption measures, can support their effective use. The Internal Stability Pact (ISP) has been a necessary domestic counterpart of European fiscal rules, but has imposed a number of constraints on sub-national administration that go beyond what is needed for EU purposes. Constitutional reforms, balanced budget rules for sub-national administrations and final implementation of long-awaited rules on fiscal federalism provide an opportunity to considerably simplify or eliminate the ISP.

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