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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 making inferences on the impact of EPL that go beyond the usual cross-country approach. In this Paper we develop a simple model that 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-off. We do not observe this effect in the case of temporary workers.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3926.

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Date of creation: Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3926
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  1. Bauer, Thomas K. & Bender, Stefan & Bonin, Holger, 2004. "Dismissal protection and worker flows in small establishments," IAB Discussion Paper 200401, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  2. Richard Layard & Stephen Nickell, 1998. "Labour Market Institutions and Economic Performance," CEP Discussion Papers dp0407, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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  4. Garibaldi, Pietro & Pacelli, Lia & Borgarello, Andrea, 2003. "Employment Protection Legislation and the Size of Firms," IZA Discussion Papers 787, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Bertola, Giuseppe & Rogerson, Richard, 1997. "Institutions and labor reallocation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1147-1171, June.
  6. Dolado, Juan J. & Garcia-Serrano, Carlos & Jimeno, Juan F, 2001. "Drawing Lessons From the Boom of Temporary Jobs in Spain," CEPR Discussion Papers 2884, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Adriana Kugler & Giovanni Pica, 2003. "The Effects of Employment Protection and Product Market Regulations on the Italian Labor Market," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 28, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  8. Hernanz, Virginia & Jimeno, Juan F & Kugler, Adriana D., 2003. "Employment Consequences of Restrictive Permanent Contracts: Evidence from Spanish Labour Market Reforms," CEPR Discussion Papers 3724, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Kugler, Adriana & Pica, Giovanni, 2003. "Effects of Employment Protection and Product Market Regulations on the Italian Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 948, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Stephen Nickell & D. Nicolitsas, 1994. "Wages," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51644, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  13. Adriana D. Kugler & Gilles Saint Paul, 2000. "Hiring and firing costs, adverse selection and long-term unemployment," Economics Working Papers 447, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
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  15. 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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  17. Richard Jackman & Richard Layard & Stephen Nickell, 1996. "Combatting Unemployment: Is Flexibility Enough?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0293, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  18. Boeri, Tito, 1998. "Enforcement of Employment Security Regulations, On-The-Job Search and Unemployment Duration," CEPR Discussion Papers 1850, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Bauer, Thomas K. & Bender, Stefan & Bonin, Holger, 2004. "Dismissal Protection and Worker Flows in Small Establishments," RWI Discussion Papers 14, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI).
  20. 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.
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  22. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Job security, employment and wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 851-879, June.
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  24. Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2001. "Firm Size, Earnings, and Displacement Risk," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(3), pages 474-86, July.
  25. Oi, Walter Y. & Idson, Todd L., 1999. "Firm size and wages," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 2165-2214 Elsevier.
  26. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-59, October.
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