Threshold effects and firm size: The case of firing costs
AbstractWe study the role of employment protection legislation (EPL) in determining firm size distribution. In many countries the provisions of EPL are more stringent for firms above certain size thresholds. We construct a simple model that shows that the smooth relation between size and growth probability is broken in proximity of the thresholds at which EPL applies differentially. We use a comprehensive longitudinal dataset of all Italian firms, a country with an important threshold at 15 employees, to estimate the effects of EPL in terms of discouraging small firms from growing. We find that the probability of growing of firms in the proximity of the threshold is reduced by around 2%. We then construct a stochastic transition matrix for firm size that, together with the estimates, allows for a quantitative evaluation of the effects of EPL in the long run. Our results show that EPL does influence firm size distribution, but that its effects are quantitatively modest: average firm size would increase by less than 1% when removing the threshold effect. Our results suggest that EPL is unlikely to be a major determinant of cross-country differences in firm size.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2004 Meeting Papers with number 445.
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
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Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
More information through EDIRC
Firm size distribution; Employment protection; Firing costs.;
Other versions of this item:
- Fabiano Schivardi & Roberto Torrini, 2004. "Threshold Effects and Firm Size: the Case of Firing Costs," CEP Discussion Papers dp0633, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
- D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
- L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-08-02 (All new papers)
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