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Temporary Contracts, Employees' Effort and Labour Productivity: The Evidence for Italy

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  • Ghignoni Emanuela

Abstract

This paper discusses a thesis indicated by recent empirical evidence from both European and non European countries; namely, if firms use temporary contracts as a tool to screen potential employees and provide workers with a "stepping stone" into permanent employment, then temporary employees have an incentive to make more effort than their permanent colleagues. After a theoretical discussion, the paper focuses on the econometrical analysis of this thesis in an institutional context, like the Italian one, in which firms are likely to use temporary contracts, mainly to adjust the workforce during the cycle. Data are drawn from ISFOL-Plus 2005 and from ECHP (1996-2001) for Italy. The paper concludes by pointing out that a higher effort does not necessary mean higher labour productivity, and suggests public policies to improve effort and productivity in labour markets characterised by an increase of temporary jobs.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Società editrice il Mulino in its journal Economia politica.

Volume (Year): (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 279-314

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Handle: RePEc:mul:jb33yl:doi:10.1428/29851:y:2009:i:2:p:279-314

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  1. Ghignoni Emanuela, 2007. "Education, Training and Probability of Transition to Permanent Employment in the Italian Regional Labour Markets," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 79-124.
  2. Bentolila, Samuel & Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad Is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402, July.
  3. Johansson, Per & Palme, Marten, 1996. "Do economic incentives affect work absence? Empirical evidence using Swedish micro data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 195-218, February.
  4. Johansson, Per & Palme, Mårten, 2001. "Assessing the effect of public policy on worker absenteeism," Working Paper Series 2002:13, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  5. Bentolila, Samuel & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1992. "A Model of Labour Demand with Linear Adjustment Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 690, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Alison L Booth & Juan J. Dolado & Jeff Frank, 2002. "Symposium On Temporary Work Introduction," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F181-F188, June.
  7. Alison L. Booth & Marco Francesconi & Jeff Frank, 2002. "Temporary Jobs: Stepping Stones Or Dead Ends?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F189-F213, June.
  8. Cecilia Albert & Carlos García-Serrano & Virginia Hernanz, 2004. "Firm-provided training and temporary contracts," Spanish Economic Review, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 67-88, January.
  9. Gianna Barbieri & Paolo Sestito, 2008. "Temporary Workers in Italy: Who Are They and Where They End Up," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(1), pages 127-166, 03.
  10. Tim A. Barmby & Marco G. Ercolani & John G. Treble, 2002. "Sickness Absence: An International Comparison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F315-F331, June.
  11. Barmby, Tim & Orme, Chris D & Treble, John, 1990. "Worker Absenteeism: An Analysis Using Microdata," CEPR Discussion Papers 434, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Cited by:
  1. Emanuela Ghignoni, 2011. "Young workers‟ overeducation and cohort effects in “P.I.G.S.†countries versus the Netherlands: a pseudo-panel analysis," Working Papers 147, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
  2. Addessi, William, 2014. "The productivity effect of permanent and temporary labor contracts in the Italian manufacturing sector," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 666-672.
  3. Tealdi, Cristina, 2011. "Typical and atypical employment contracts: the case of Italy," MPRA Paper 39456, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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