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The Effects of Employment Protection: Learning from Variable Enforcement

  • Tito Boeri

Employment protection legislations (EPL) are not enforced uniformly across the board. There are a number of exemptions to the coverage of these provisions: firms below a given threshold scale and workers with temporary contracts are not subject to the most restrictive provisions. This within-country variation in enforcement allows making inferences on the impact of EPL that go beyond the usual cross-country approach. In this Paper we develop a simple model that explains why these exemptions are in place to start with. Then we empirically assess the effects of EPL on dismissal probabilities, based on a double-difference approach. Our results are in line with the predictions of the theoretical model. Workers in firms exempted from EPL are more likely to be laid-off. We do not observe this effect in the case of temporary workers.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2004 Meeting Papers with number 445a.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed004:445a
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Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/
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  1. Edward P. Lazear, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726.
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  3. Pietro Garibaldi & Lia Pacelli & Andrea Borgarello, 2004. "Employment Protection Legislation and the Size of Firms," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 63(1), pages 33-68, April.
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  17. Gregg, Paul & Manning, Alan, 1997. "Skill-biassed change, unemployment and wage inequality," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1173-1200, June.
  18. Boeri, Tito, 1998. "Enforcement of Employment Security Regulations, On-The-Job Search and Unemployment Duration," CEPR Discussion Papers 1850, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Samuel Bentolila & Giuseppe Bertola, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402.
  20. Bauer, Thomas K. & Bender, Stefan & Bonin, Holger, 2004. "Dismissal Protection and Worker Flows in Small Establishments," RWI Discussion Papers 14, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI).
  21. Giuseppe BERTOLA & Tito BOERI & Sandrine CAZES, 2000. "Employment protection in industrialized countries: The case for new indicators," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 139(1), pages 57-72, 03.
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