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Employment protection legislation, capital investment and access to credit: evidence from Italy

Author

Listed:
  • Federico Cingano
  • Marco Leonardi
  • Julián Messina
  • Giovanni Pica

Abstract

This paper estimates the causal impact of dismissal costs on capital deepening and productivity exploiting a reform that introduced unjust-dismissal costs in Italy for firms below 15 employees, leaving firing costs unchanged for larger firms. We show that the increase in firing costs induces an increase in the capital-labour ratio and a decline in total factor productivity in small firms relative to larger firms after the reform. Our results indicate that capital deepening is more pronounced at the low-end of the capital distribution - where the reform hit arguably harder - and among firms endowed with a larger amount of liquid resources. We also find that stricter EPL raises the share of high-tenure workers, which suggests a complementarity between firm-specific human capital and physical capital in moderate EPL environments.

Suggested Citation

  • Federico Cingano & Marco Leonardi & Julián Messina & Giovanni Pica, 2014. "Employment protection legislation, capital investment and access to credit: evidence from Italy," Working Papers 4, Department of the Treasury, Ministry of the Economy and of Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:itt:wpaper:2014-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bartelsman, Eric & Dobbelaere, Sabien & Peters, Bettina, 2013. "Allocation of Human Capital and Innovation at the Frontier: Firm-Level Evidence on Germany and the Netherlands," IZA Discussion Papers 7540, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Balazs Egert, 2017. "Regulation, Institutions and Aggregate Investment: New Evidence from OECD Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 6415, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. G. Cette & J. Lopez & J. Mairesse, 2016. "Labour market regulations and capital labour substitution," Working papers 604, Banque de France.
    4. Etienne Wasmer & Alexandre Janiak, 2014. "Employment protection and capital-labor ratios," Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers 2014-11, Sciences Po Departement of Economics.
    5. J. Ignacio García-Pérez & Ioana Marinescu & Judit Vall Castello, 2014. "Can Fixed-Term Contracts Put Low Skilled Youth on a Better Career Path? Evidence from Spain," Working Papers 2014-08, FEDEA.
    6. Balázs Égert & Peter Gal, 2017. "The quantification of structural reforms in OECD countries: A new framework," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2016(1), pages 91-108.
    7. Gilbert Cette & Jimmy Lopez & Jacques Mairesse, 2016. "Labour Market Regulations and Capital Intensity," NBER Working Papers 22603, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Bratti, Massimiliano & Conti, Maurizio & Sulis, Giovanni, 2018. "Employment Protection, Temporary Contracts and Firm-Provided Training: Evidence from Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 11339, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Cette Gilbert & Lopez Jimmy & Mairesse Jacques, 2017. "Employment protection legislation impacts on capital and skill composition," Working Papers 2017-57, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    10. Etienne Wasmer & Alexandre Janiak, 2014. "Employment protection and capital-labor ratios," Sciences Po publications 33, Sciences Po.
    11. Andrea Bassanini & Luca Nunziata & Danielle Venn, 2009. "Job protection legislation and productivity growth in OECD countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 24, pages 349-402, April.
    12. Guriev, Sergei & Speciale, Biagio & Tuccio, Michele, 2016. "How do regulated and unregulated labor markets respond to shocks? Evidence from immigrants during the Great Recession," CEPR Discussion Papers 11403, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Capital deepening; severance payments; regression discontinuity design; financial market imperfections; credit constraints;

    JEL classification:

    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity

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