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Culture, Discrimination and Individual Productivity: Regional Evidence from Personnel Data in a Large Italian Firm

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  • Ichino, Andrea
  • Ichino, Pietro

Abstract

This paper documents the existence of striking regional differences in the reported behaviour of employees working within the same firm, but in different Italian regions. In particular, the frequency of recorded and punished misconduct episodes is significantly higher among employees working in the south; migrants moving from the north to the south assimilate completely to the higher rate of misconduct in the receiving region, while migrants moving from the south to the north assimilate only partially to the lower misconduct rate in the receiving region. These differences can, in principle, be attributed to discrimination or to individual effort. The absence of any evidence of regional discrimination in the process by which misconduct episodes are signalled and brought to the attention of the personnel office, and in terms of careers and earnings, suggests that the second explanation is more likely to be true. This conclusion is also supported by the evidence on absenteeism that replicates the findings on misconduct. While the main contribution of this paper is to measure, in a novel way, regional productivity differentials due to individual effort, it does not explore the ultimate causes of these differentials (e.g. individual characteristics or multiple equilibria), a crucial issue that will be addressed in a forthcoming companion paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Ichino, Andrea & Ichino, Pietro, 1997. "Culture, Discrimination and Individual Productivity: Regional Evidence from Personnel Data in a Large Italian Firm," CEPR Discussion Papers 1709, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1709
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    Cited by:

    1. Piketty, Thomas, 2000. "Theories of persistent inequality and intergenerational mobility," Handbook of Income Distribution,in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 429-476 Elsevier.
    2. Joshua D. Angrist & Erich Battistin & Daniela Vuri, 2014. "In a Small Moment: Class Size and Moral Hazard in the Mezzogiorno," FBK-IRVAPP Working Papers 2014-04, Research Institute for the Evaluation of Public Policies (IRVAPP), Bruno Kessler Foundation.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Discrimination; Illegal Behaviour; Individual Productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior

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