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Firm size distribution and employment protection legislation in Italy

  • Fabiano Schivardi

    ()

    (Banca d'Italia)

  • Roberto Torrini

    ()

    (Banca d'Italia)

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.

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File URL: http://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/temi-discussione/2004/2004-0504/tema_504.pdf
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Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 504.

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Date of creation: Jun 2004
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_504_04
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Web page: http://www.bancaditalia.it

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  1. 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.
  2. Patrizio Pagano & Fabiano Schivardi, 2003. "Firm Size Distribution and Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(2), pages 255-274, 06.
  3. Andrea Ichino & Michele Polo & Enrico Rettore, . "Are Judges Biased by Labor Market Conditions?," Working Papers 192, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  4. 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.
  5. Roberto Torrini, 2002. "Cross-country differences in self-employment rates: the role of institutions," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 459, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  6. Krishna B. Kumar & Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1999. "What Determines Firm Size?," NBER Working Papers 7208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Andrea Borgarello & Pietro Garibaldi & Lia Pacelli, 2003. "Employment Protection Legislation and the Size of Firms," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 23, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
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