How Internal Immigration Can Affect Income Inequality: The Italian Case from an Economic and Juridical Perspective

Salvatore Villani, Luigi Ferrara, Giorgio Liotti


A number of scholars are currently arguing that migration may have an important role in the reduction of inequality. It has happened before and it may also happen in the future, as it is possible and desirable. However, migration in itself does not resolve the issue of inequalities. At most, it would shift it forward, because redistribution through immigration does not exempt from previously creating a basic set of rules and institutions aimed at stimulating a major cooperation by countries to change the legal management systems of migration and correct their redistributive effects. In light of these studies, the present paper focuses on the regional impact of internal migration and attempts to demonstrate, with reference to the Italian case, how out-migration can increase income inequalities, thus hindering economic growth, while immigration can reduce income inequalities and mitigate economic imbalances. From a juridical point of view, we study the regional restrictions related to residence workers protection, the free movement of European workers and the welfare benefits for migrants.


income inequality, migration, redistribution through immigration, administrative citizenship for migrants

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096