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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. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Angrist, 1998. "Consequences of Employment Protection? The Case of the Americans with Disabilities Act," NBER Working Papers 6670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Fabiano Schivardi, 1998. "Reallocation and Learning over the Business Cycle," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 345, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  4. 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.
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  7. Adriana Kugler & Giovanni Pica, 2003. "Effects of employment protection and product market regulations on the Italian labor market," Economics Working Papers 722, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  8. 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).
  9. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "The Growth And Failure Of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," Papers 1-87-5, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  10. Guiso, Luigi & Pistaferri, Luigi & Schivardi, Fabiano, 2001. "Insurance Within the Firm," CEPR Discussion Papers 2793, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Bentolila, Samuel & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1992. "The macroeconomic impact of flexible labor contracts, with an application to Spain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1013-1047, June.
  12. Fabiano Schivardi & Roberto Torrini, 2004. "Threshold Effects and Firm Size: the Case of Firing Costs," CEP Discussion Papers dp0633, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  13. Adriana Kugler & Juan F. Jimeno & Virginia Hernanz, . "Employment Consequences of Restrictive Permanent Contracts: Evidence from Spanish Labor Market Reforms," Working Papers 2003-14, FEDEA.
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  16. 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).
  17. Kugler, Adriana & Pica, Giovanni, 2003. "The effects of employment protection and product market regulations on the Italian labor market," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0310, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  18. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  19. Verick, Sher, 2004. "Threshold Effects of Dismissal Protection Legislation in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 991, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. 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.
  21. David H. Autor & John J. Donohue & Stewart J. Schwab, 2004. "The Employment Consequences of Wrongful-Discharge Laws: Large, Small, or None at All?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 440-446, May.
  22. Andrew C. Caplin & Daniel F. Spulber, 1987. "Menu Costs and the Neutrality of Money," NBER Working Papers 2311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. 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.
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