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Firing Regulations and Firm Size in the Developing World: Evidence from Differential Enforcement

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  • Almeida, Rita K.

    ()
    (World Bank)

  • Susanli, Z. Bilgen

    ()
    (Isik University)

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    Abstract

    This paper examines how stringent de facto firing regulations affect firm size throughout the developing world. We exploit a large firm level dataset across 63 countries and within country variation in the enforcement of the labor codes in countries with very different de jure firing regulations. Our findings strongly suggest that firms facing a stricter enforcement of firing regulations are on average smaller. We interpret this finding as supportive of the fact that more stringent de facto firing regulations tend to reduce average employment. We also find robust evidence that this effect is stronger for more labor intensive manufacturing firms, especially those operating in low-technology sectors. Evidence also shows that this negative correlation does not hold in countries with a very weak rule of law.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6006.

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    Length: 42 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2011
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: published in: Review of Development Economics, 2012, 16 (4), 540–558
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6006

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    Related research

    Keywords: firing regulations; enforcement; developing countries; micro data; labor markets;

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    1. Boeri, Tito & Jimeno, Juan Francisco, 2003. "The Effects of Employment Protection: Learning from Variable Enforcement," CEPR Discussion Papers 3926, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Beata Smarzynska Javorcik & Mariana Spatareanu, 2005. "Do Foreign Investors Care about Labor Market Regulations?," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2005-005, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
    3. Jan I. Haaland & Ian Wooton, 2007. "Domestic Labor Markets and Foreign Direct Investment," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 462-480, 08.
    4. Amiti, Mary & Smarzynska Javorcik, Beata, 2005. "Trade Costs and Location of Foreign Firms in China," CEPR Discussion Papers 4978, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Aterido, Reyes & Hallward-Driemeier, Mary & Pagés, Carmen, 2007. "Investment Climate and Employment Growth: The Impact of Access to Finance, Corruption and Regulations Across Firms," IZA Discussion Papers 3138, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Schivardi, Fabiano & Torrini, Roberto, 2005. "Identifying the Effects of Firing Restrictions Through Size-Contingent Differences in Regulation," CEPR Discussion Papers 5303, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Boeri, Tito & Helppie, Brooke & Macis, Mario, 2008. "Labor regulations in developing countries : a review of the evidence and directions for future research," Social Protection Discussion Papers 46306, The World Bank.
    8. Abidoye, Babatunde & Orazem, Peter & Vodopivec, Milan, 2008. "Firing Cost and Firm Size: A Study of Sri Lanka's Severance Pay System," Staff General Research Papers 12922, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    9. Almeida, Rita K. & Carneiro, Pedro, 2007. "Inequality and Employment in a Dual Economy: Enforcement of Labor Regulation in Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 3094, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & Alejandro Micco, 2004. "Effective Labor Regulation and Microeconomic Flexibility," Working Papers 893, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    11. Krishna B. Kumar & Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1999. "What Determines Firm Size?," NBER Working Papers 7208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Lucas Ronconi, 2010. "Enforcement and Compliance with Labor Regulations," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(4), pages 719-736, July.
    13. Alejandro Micco & Carmen Pagés-Serra, 2004. "Employment Protection and Gross Job Flows: A Differences-in-Differences Approach," Research Department Publications 4365, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    14. James J. Heckman & Carmen Pagés, 2004. "Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number heck04-1, May.
    15. James E. Pesando, 1984. "Valuing Pensions (Annuities) with Different Types of Inflation Protection in Total Compensation Comparisons," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 17(3), pages 569-87, August.
    16. Parisi, Maria Laura & Schiantarelli, Fabio & Sembenelli, Alessandro, 2006. "Productivity, innovation and R&D: Micro evidence for Italy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(8), pages 2037-2061, November.
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