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Performance-Related Pay, Unions and Productivity in Italy: evidence from quantile regressions


  • Mirella Damiani
  • Andrea Ricci


Purpose – This study analyses the effects on productivity of Performance-Related Payments (PRP) and unions, and examines to what extent heterogeneity between firms characterises these influences. Design - For the Italian economy, the study presents firm-level quantile regressions for Total Factor Productivity (TFP) and controls for various observed characteristics of firms, worker composition and labour relations. Findings - The paper shows the significant effect of PRP and unions on the whole economy and on firms operating in the manufacturing industries. In these industries, the uniform incentive effects of PRP but the increasing impact of unions are estimated along the productivity distribution. Conversely, the role of management - significant in all sectors- is more efficacious in prospering large firms operating in services. Research limitations – The adoption of PRP schemes and the presence of unions maybe endogenous to firms’ productivity, and our estimates do not prove causal links but simply suggest correlations. Practical implications - The limited incentive effects of PRP schemes in services contribute towards explaining the slowdown in Italian productivity, whereas the role of unions is quite uniform among sectors. Originality- The paper addresses the hitherto poorly developed issue of firm heterogeneity and TFP, and offers the first Italian study of PRP and unions, which covers all dimensional classes of firms and non-agricultural sectors of the Italian economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Mirella Damiani & Andrea Ricci, 2010. "Performance-Related Pay, Unions and Productivity in Italy: evidence from quantile regressions," Quaderni del Dipartimento di Economia, Finanza e Statistica 73/2010, Università di Perugia, Dipartimento Economia.
  • Handle: RePEc:pia:wpaper:73/2010

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    Performance – related pay; productivity.;

    JEL classification:

    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity

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