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Employment protection, temporary contracts and firm-provided training: Evidence from Italy

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Abstract

In this study we leverage on Italy’s size-contingent firing restrictions in order to identify the causal effect of employment protection legislation (EPL) on firm-provided training using a regression discontinuity design. Our analysis demonstrates that higher levels of EPL reduce firms’ incentives to invest in workers’ training. The number of trained workers falls by about 1.5-1.9 units at the threshold: this is a non-negligible effect, corresponding to a 16-20 per cent reduction in the number of trained workers. The results are robust to several sensitivity checks and controls for potential confounding factors (e.g., worker councils). The EPL effect on training is not mediated by different levels of investment in physical capital or propensities to innovate, while it is mostly accounted for by larger workers’ turnover and use of temporary contracts, which entail lower training, in firms with higher firing costs. Our study points to potential adverse effects of EPL on workers’ training in dual labor markets, owing to larger firms seeking to avoid higher EPL costs by means of temporary contracts.

Suggested Citation

  • Bratti, Massimiliano & Conti, Maurizio & Sulis, Giovanni, 2018. "Employment protection, temporary contracts and firm-provided training: Evidence from Italy," Working Papers 2018-02, Joint Research Centre, European Commission (Ispra site).
  • Handle: RePEc:jrs:wpaper:201802
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    Cited by:

    1. Giorgio d'Agostino & Michele Raitano & Margherita Scarlato, 2019. "Job mobility and heterogeneous returns to apprenticeship training in Italy," Working Papers 0043, ASTRIL - Associazione Studi e Ricerche Interdisciplinari sul Lavoro.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    employment protection legislation; firing costs; training; Italy;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • M53 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Training

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