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The Institutional and Economic Limits to Bargaining Decentralization in Italy

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  • D'Amuri, Francesco

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Giorgiantonio, Cristina

    () (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

Italy is not immune from the long term trend towards greater bargaining decentralization under way in Western Europe. The article surveys the main actions undertaken in recent years, either by social partners or by government intervention, in order to reduce the obstacles to this process, without altering the relative importance of different levels of bargaining. Empirical evidence shows that firm-level bargaining has been associated with innovative managerial practices, but also that a significant share of firms would be willing to sign contracts that would grant higher wages or preserve occupational levels in order to obtain higher flexibility in the use of the workforce. From an institutional standpoint, the main obstacles preventing the adoption of such deals are: i) unresolved issues related to the measurement of trade unions' weight at the national level and to the coexistence of two different workers' representation systems, ii) limits to contract enforcement, iii) limited scope for action of second level bargaining in determining both wages and work organization. The effectiveness of tax breaks encouraging a closer link between wage and productivity at the firm level has been undermined by poor monitoring and frequent changes to the eligibility criteria.

Suggested Citation

  • D'Amuri, Francesco & Giorgiantonio, Cristina, 2015. "The Institutional and Economic Limits to Bargaining Decentralization in Italy," IZA Policy Papers 98, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izapps:pp98
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    Cited by:

    1. Zizza, Roberta & Adamopoulou, Effrosyni, 2017. "Regular versus lump-sum payments in union contracts and household consumption," Working Paper Series 2013, European Central Bank.
    2. Effrosyni Adamopoulou & Roberta Zizza, 2015. "Accessorizing. The effect of union contract renewals on consumption," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1024, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    3. Damiani, Mirella & Pompei, Fabrizio & Ricci, Andrea, 2019. "Opting Out, Collective Contracts and Labour Flexibility: Firm-Level Evidence for The Italian Case," MPRA Paper 97426, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Francesco D�Amuri & Silvia Fabiani & Roberto Sabbatini & Raffaele Tartaglia Polcini & Fabrizio Venditti & Eliana Viviano & Roberta Zizza, 2015. "Wages and prices in Italy during the crisis: the firms� perspective," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 289, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    salary structure; labour law; industrial relations;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence

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