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Firm size distribution and employment protection legislation in Italy

Author

Listed:
  • Fabiano Schivardi

    () (Banca d'Italia)

  • Roberto Torrini

    () (Banca d'Italia)

Abstract

We study the role of employment protection legislation (EPL) in explaining the relative small average size of Italian firms. We construct a simple model that shows that the smooth relation between size and growth probability is disturbed in proximity of the thresholds at which EPL applies differentially. We use a comprehensive dataset of all Italian firms between 1986 and 1998 to estimate the effects of EPL in terms of discouraging small firms from growing. 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. In terms of policy, these findings suggest that changes in EPL are not likely to have a large impact on the propensity of small firms to grow.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabiano Schivardi & Roberto Torrini, 2004. "Firm size distribution and employment protection legislation in Italy," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 504, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_504_04
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    File URL: http://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/temi-discussione/2004/2004-0504/tema_504.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Patrizio Pagano & Fabiano Schivardi, 2003. "Firm Size Distribution and Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(2), pages 255-274, June.
    2. Paolo Finaldi Russo & Luigi Leva, 2004. "Il debito commerciale in Italia: quanto contano le motivazioni finanziarie?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 496, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    3. Eric Bartelsman & Stefano Scarpetta & Fabiano Schivardi, 2003. "Comparative Analysis of Firm Demographics and Survival: Micro-Level Evidence for the OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 348, OECD Publishing.
    4. Krishna B. Kumar & Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, "undated". "What Determines Firm Size?," CRSP working papers 496, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    5. Emilia Bonaccorsi di Patti & Giorgio Gobbi, 2003. "The effects of bank mergers on credit availability: evidence from corporate data," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 479, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    6. Pietro Garibaldi & Lia Pacelli & Andrea Borgarello, 2004. "Employment Protection Legislation and the Size of Firms," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 63(1), pages 33-68, April.
    7. Ichino, Andrea & Polo, Michele & Rettore, Enrico, 2003. "Are judges biased by labor market conditions?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(5), pages 913-944, October.
    8. Torrini, Roberto, 2005. "Cross-country differences in self-employment rates: the role of institutions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(5), pages 661-683, October.
    9. Fabiano Schivardi, 2000. "Rigidita nel mercato del lavoro, disoccupazione e crescita," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 59(1), pages 117-143, April.
    10. David H. Autor & John J. Donohue & Stewart J. Schwab, 2006. "The Costs of Wrongful-Discharge Laws," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 211-231, May.
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    1. L’articolo 18 è un tabù o un totem?
      by Sandro Trento in Il Fatto Quotidiano on 2011-12-20 15:28:56

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kugler, Adriana & Pica, Giovanni, 2008. "Effects of employment protection on worker and job flows: Evidence from the 1990 Italian reform," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 78-95, February.
    2. Calcagnini, Giorgio & Ferrando, Annalisa & Giombini, Germana, 2014. "Does employment protection legislation affect firm investment? The European case," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 658-665.
    3. Silvia Magri, 2009. "The financing of small entrepreneurs in Italy," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 397-419, June.
    4. Emilio Congregado & Vicente Esteve & Antonio A. Golpe, 2012. "Job Creation and the Self-employed Firm Size: evidence from Spain," Working Papers 1202, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
    5. Anders Bornhäll & Sven-Olov Daunfeldt & Niklas Rudholm, 2017. "Employment protection legislation and firm growth: evidence from a natural experiment," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(1), pages 169-185.
    6. Behaghel, Luc & Crépon, Bruno & Sédillot, Béatrice, 2008. "The perverse effects of partial employment protection reform: The case of French older workers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 696-721, April.
    7. Rettore, Enrico & Paggiaro, Adriano & Trivellato, Ugo, 2008. "The Effect of Extending the Duration of Eligibility in an Italian Labour Market Programme for Dismissed Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 3633, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Kugler, Adriana D. & Pica, Giovanni, 2005. "Effects of Employment Protection on Worker and Job Flows: Evidence from the 1990 Italian Reform," CEPR Discussion Papers 5256, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Luigi Cannari & Giovanni D'Alessio & Romina Gambacorta, 2007. "Capital gains and wealth distribution in Italy," IFC Bulletins chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Proceedings of the IFC Conference on "Measuring the financial position of the household sector", Basel, 30-31 August 2006 - Volume 2, volume 26, pages 129-156 Bank for International Settlements.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Firm size distribution; firing costs; employment protection;

    JEL classification:

    • 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

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