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A Tale of Comprehensive Labor Market Reforms: Evidence from the Italian Jobs Act

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  • Tito Boeri
  • Pietro Garibaldi

Abstract

The Italian Jobs Act introduced a subsidy for new hirings as well as a new open ended labor contract based on graded security, with severance payments increasing with tenure, while phasing out the compulsory reinstatement of workers in the case of unfair dismissals applied until March 2015. Simple models of job creation and destruction predict that hiring subsidies and lower _ring costs unambiguously increase hirings. Moreover, lower _ring costs associated with graded security should also increase layoffs. These effects need not to be uniform across the size distribution of firms, especially when firms of different size are treated differently by the policy changes as in the case of the Jobs Act. On the one hand, the hiring subsidy was proportional to wages, but had a cap, hence was more generous for small firms - typically paying lower wages than large firms - making them particularly responsive along the job creation margin. On the other hand, the reduction in _ring costs applied mainly to large firms concentrating on them the adjustment along the job destruction margin. To investigate empirically the effects of the Italian Jobs Act, we draw on a unique dataset covering the universe of private firms in Italy having at least once 10 to 20 employees in the two years prior to the reform of January 2015. We find evidence of a substantial increase in open ended hirings, and in the transformation of fixed-term into open ended contracts, in the aftermath of the Jobs Act. The effects of the Jobs Act on firings- conversely- are much smaller, and are concentrated on large _firms, while small _firms react more intensively- creating new open ended contracts - to the hiring subsidy.

Suggested Citation

  • Tito Boeri & Pietro Garibaldi, 2019. "A Tale of Comprehensive Labor Market Reforms: Evidence from the Italian Jobs Act," CEP Discussion Papers dp1613, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1613
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Boeri, Tito & Jimeno, Juan F., 2005. "The effects of employment protection: Learning from variable enforcement," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 2057-2077, November.
    3. Valeria Cirillo & Marta Fana & Dario Guarascio, 2017. "Labour market reforms in Italy: evaluating the effects of the Jobs Act," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 34(2), pages 211-232, August.
    4. 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.
    5. Tito Boeri & Pietro Garibaldi, 2007. "Two Tier Reforms of Employment Protection: a Honeymoon Effect?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(521), pages 357-385, June.
    6. Andrea Ichino & Regina T. Riphahn, 2005. "The Effect of Employment Protection on Worker Effort: Absenteeism During and After Probation," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(1), pages 120-143, March.
    7. Pedro S. Martins, 2009. "Dismissals for Cause: The Difference That Just Eight Paragraphs Can Make," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 257-279, April.
    8. Dolado, Juan J. & Lalé, Etienne & Siassi, Nawid, 2016. "From Dual to Unified Employment Protection: Transition and Steady State," IZA Discussion Papers 9953, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Valeria Cirillo & Dario Guarascio, 2015. "Jobs and Competitiveness in a Polarised Europe," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;German National Library of Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 50(3), pages 156-160, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bratti, Massimiliano & Conti, Maurizio & Sulis, Giovanni, 2019. "Employment Protection and Firm-provided Training: Quasi-experimental Evidence from a Labour Market Reform," GLO Discussion Paper Series 368, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor mobility; jobs act;

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

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