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The effects of employment protection: Learning from variable enforcement

  • Boeri, Tito
  • Jimeno, Juan F.

Employment protection legislations (EPL) are not enforced uniformly across the board. There are a number of exemptions to the coverage of these provisions: firms below a given threshold scale and workers with temporary contracts are not subject to the most restrictive provisions. This within country variation in enforcement allows to make inferences on the impact of EPL which go beyond the usual cross-country approach. In this paper we develop a simple model which explains why these exemptions are in place to start with. Then we empirically assess the effects of EPL on dismissal probabilities, based on a double-difference approach. Our results are in line with the predictions of the theoretical model. Workers in firms exempted from EPL are more likely to be laid-o®. We do not observe this effect in the case of temporary workers.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 49 (2005)
Issue (Month): 8 (November)
Pages: 2057-2077

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:49:y:2005:i:8:p:2057-2077
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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  17. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  18. Richard Jackman & Richard Layard & Stephen J Nickell, 1996. "Combating unemployment: is flexibility enough?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2214, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  19. Giuseppe BERTOLA & Tito BOERI & Sandrine CAZES, 2000. "Employment protection in industrialized countries: The case for new indicators," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 139(1), pages 57-72, 03.
  20. Fabiano Schivardi & Roberto Torrini, 2003. "Firm Size Distribution and EPL in Italy," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2003-613, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  21. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Job security, employment and wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 851-879, June.
  22. Gregg, Paul & Manning, Alan, 1997. "Skill-biassed change, unemployment and wage inequality," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1173-1200, June.
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