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The Effects of Partial Employment Protection Reforms: Evidence from Italy

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  • Diego Daruich

    (University of Southern California (Marshall))

  • Sabrina Di Addario

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Raffaele Saggio

    (University of British Columbia)

Abstract

We combine matched employer-employee data with firms’ financial records tostudy a 2001 Italian reform that lifted constraints on the employment of temporary contract workers while maintaining rigid employment protection regulationsfor employees hired under permanent employment contracts. Exploiting the stag-gered implementation of the reform across different sectoral collective bargainingagreements, we find that this policy change led to an increase in the incidence oftemporary contracts but failed to raise employment significantly. The reform hadboth winners and losers. Firms appear to be the main winners as the reform wassuccessful in decreasing labor costs, leading to higher profits. By contrast, youngworkers are the main losers since their earnings were substantially depressed follow-ing the policy change. Rent-sharing estimates show that workers on a temporarycontract receive only 68% of the rents shared by firms with workers hired under apermanent contract, helping explain the post-reform labor cost reductions.

Suggested Citation

  • Diego Daruich & Sabrina Di Addario & Raffaele Saggio, 2020. "The Effects of Partial Employment Protection Reforms: Evidence from Italy," Development Working Papers 463, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 27 Apr 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:463
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    1. Drenik, Andres & Jäger, Simon & Plotkin, Pascuel & Schoefer, Benjamin, 2020. "Paying Outsourced Labor: Direct Evidence from Linked Temp Agency-Worker-Client Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 14517, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Emmanuel Saez & Benjamin Schoefer & David Seim, 2019. "Payroll Taxes, Firm Behavior, and Rent Sharing: Evidence from a Young Workers' Tax Cut in Sweden," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(5), pages 1717-1763, May.
    3. Di Addario, Sabrina & Kline, Patrick & Saggio, Raffaele & Solvsten, Mikkel, 2020. "It Ain't Where You're From, It's Where You're At: Hiring Origins, Firm Heterogeneity, and Wages," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt6191m92m, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    4. Devicienti, Francesco & Fanfani, Bernardo, 2021. "Firms' Margins of Adjustment to Wage Growth: The Case of Italian Collective Bargaining," IZA Discussion Papers 14532, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Bratti, Massimiliano & Conti, Maurizio & Sulis, Giovanni, 2019. "Employment Protection and Firm-Provided Training: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from a Labour Market Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 12773, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Tito Boeri & Andrea Ichino & Enrico Moretti & Johanna Posch, 2019. "Wage Equalization and Regional Misallocation: Evidence from Italian and German Provinces," NBER Working Papers 25612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Brüll, Eduard, 2019. "Restrictions of fixed term employment contracts: Evidence from a German reform," ZEW Discussion Papers 19-034, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.

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