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Poverty and deprivation of immigrants vs. natives in Italy

Fabio Berti (Department of History, Law, Political & Social Science, University of Siena, Siena, Italy)
Antonella D’Agostino (Department of Statistics and Mathematics for Economic Research, University of Naples “Parthenope”, Naples, Italy)
Achille Lemmi (Department of Economics & Statistics, University of Siena, Siena, Italy)
Laura Neri (Department of Economics & Statistics, University of Siena, Siena, Italy)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 5 August 2014



Italy has become a migrant receiving country and it has to face with the problem of social inclusion of immigrants. The purpose of this paper is to measure the gap on poverty and deprivation between immigrants and natives since manifest conditions of both of them are an important signal, although not exclusively, of social exclusion.


Poverty analysis typically relies on a single monetary variable such as income and it is characterized by a simple dichotomization of the population into poor and non-poor. In this paper the authors stress the importance of using a multidimensional and fuzzy approach in order to study disparities between immigrants and natives. The authors cover several of the multifaceted aspects of resources necessary to maintain adequate living standards in a developed country. With the fuzzy methodology, the authors also overcome any limitation of the conventional approach based on the simple dichotomization of the phenomenon.


The empirical analysis is based on data from two official surveys. The authors find that between Italian and immigrant households there are significant differences in poverty and deprivation levels, with a strong disadvantage for the latter. The authors argue that any serious attempt to reduce poverty and deprivation must now include comprehensive reforms in the nation's immigration policies if they are to be taken seriously.


The paper makes an original contribution to the understanding of inequality between immigrants and natives, by studying a complex phenomena such as poverty and deprivation in a multidimensional perspective using a fuzzy approach.



Berti, F., D’Agostino, A., Lemmi, A. and Neri, L. (2014), "Poverty and deprivation of immigrants vs. natives in Italy", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 41 No. 8, pp. 630-649.



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