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Identifying the Effects of Firing Restrictions Through Size-Contingent Differences in Regulation

  • Schivardi, Fabiano
  • Torrini, Roberto

We study the effects of the more stringent employment protection legislation (EPL) that applies in Italy to firms with over 15 employees. We consider firms' propensity to grow when close to that threshold and changes in employment policies when they pass it. Using a comprehensive matched employer-employees dataset, we find that the probability of firms' growth is reduced by around 2 percentage points near the threshold. Using the stochastic transition matrix for firm size, we compute the long-run effects of EPL on the size distribution, finding that they are quantitatively modest. We also find that, contrary to the implications of more stringent firing restrictions, workers in firms just above the threshold have on average less stable employment relations than those just below it. We document that this is because firms above the threshold make greater use of flexible employment contracts, arguably to circumvent the stricter regulation on open-end contracts.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5303.

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Date of creation: Oct 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5303
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  1. Schivardi, Fabiano, 2003. "Reallocation and learning over the business cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 95-111, February.
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  4. Roberto Torrini & Fabiano Schivardi, 2004. "Threshold effects and firm size: The case of firing costs," 2004 Meeting Papers 445, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  12. Tito Boeri, 2004. "The Effects of Employment Protection: Learning from Variable Enforcement," 2004 Meeting Papers 445a, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  14. Verick, Sher, 2004. "Threshold Effects of Dismissal Protection Legislation in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 991, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  16. David H. Autor, 2003. "Outsourcing at Will: The Contribution of Unjust Dismissal Doctrine to the Growth of Employment Outsourcing," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 1-42, January.
  17. 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.
  18. Alison L Booth & Juan J. Dolado & Jeff Frank, 2002. "Symposium On Temporary Work Introduction," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F181-F188, June.
  19. 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.
  20. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
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  23. Gianni Principe, 2003. "Soglie Dimensionali e Regolazione del Rapporto di Lavoro in Italia," ISAE Working Papers 36, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY).
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