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Firing Regulations and Firm Size in the Developing World: Evidence from Differential Enforcement

  • Almeida, Rita K.

    ()

    (World Bank)

  • Susanli, Z. Bilgen

    ()

    (Isik University)

This paper examines how stringent de facto firing regulations affect firm size throughout the developing world. We exploit a large firm level dataset across 63 countries and within country variation in the enforcement of the labor codes in countries with very different de jure firing regulations. Our findings strongly suggest that firms facing a stricter enforcement of firing regulations are on average smaller. We interpret this finding as supportive of the fact that more stringent de facto firing regulations tend to reduce average employment. We also find robust evidence that this effect is stronger for more labor intensive manufacturing firms, especially those operating in low-technology sectors. Evidence also shows that this negative correlation does not hold in countries with a very weak rule of law.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6006.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Review of Development Economics, 2012, 16 (4), 540–558
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6006
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  1. Tito Boeri & Juan F. Jimeno, 2003. "The Effects of Employment Protection: Learning from Variable Enforcement," Working Papers 252, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. Schivardi, Fabiano & Torrini, Roberto, 2005. "Identifying the Effects of Firing Restrictions Through Size-Contingent Differences in Regulation," CEPR Discussion Papers 5303, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & Alejandro Micco, 2004. "Effective Labor Regulation and Microeconomic Flexibility," Working Papers 893, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  4. James E. Pesando, 1982. "Valuing Pensions (Annuities) with Different Types of Inflation Protection in Total Compensation Comparisons," NBER Working Papers 0956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Carmen Pagés-Serra & Reyes Aterido & Mary Hallward-Driemeier, 2007. "Investment Climate and Employment Growth: The Impact of Access to Finance, Corruption and Regulations Across Firms," Research Department Publications 4559, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  6. Abidoye, Babatunde & Orazem, Peter & Vodopivec, Milan, 2008. "Firing Cost and Firm Size: A Study of Sri Lanka's Severance Pay System," Staff General Research Papers 12922, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  7. Krishna B. Kumar & Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, . "What Determines Firm Size?," CRSP working papers 496, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  8. Smarzynska, Beata & Spartareanu, Mariana, 2004. "Do foreign investors care about labor market regulations?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3275, The World Bank.
  9. Alejandro Micco & Carmen Pagés-Serra, 2004. "Employment Protection and Gross Job Flows: A Differences-in-Differences Approach," Research Department Publications 4365, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  10. Lucas Ronconi, 2010. "Enforcement and Compliance with Labor Regulations," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(4), pages 719-736, July.
  11. Boeri, Tito & Helppie, Brooke & Macis, Mario, 2008. "Labor regulations in developing countries : a review of the evidence and directions for future research," Social Protection Discussion Papers 46306, The World Bank.
  12. Almeida, Rita K. & Carneiro, Pedro, 2007. "Inequality and Employment in a Dual Economy: Enforcement of Labor Regulation in Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 3094, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Amiti, Mary & Smarzynska Javorcik, Beata, 2008. "Trade costs and location of foreign firms in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 129-149, February.
  14. Jan I. Haaland & Ian Wooton, 2007. "Domestic Labor Markets and Foreign Direct Investment," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 462-480, 08.
  15. James J. Heckman & Carmen Pagés, 2004. "Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number heck04-1, May.
  16. Parisi, Maria Laura & Schiantarelli, Fabio & Sembenelli, Alessandro, 2006. "Productivity, innovation and R&D: Micro evidence for Italy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(8), pages 2037-2061, November.
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