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Employment Protection and Fertility: Evidence from the 1990 Italian Reform

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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to investigate the effect of Employment Protection Legislation (EPL) on fertility decisions of Italian working women using administrative data. We exploit a reform that introduced in 1990 costs for dismissals unmotivated by a 'fair cause' or 'justified motive' in firms below 15 employees and left firing costs unchanged for bigger firms. We use this quasi-experimental setup to study the hypothesis that increased EPL reduces future job insecurity and positively affects a female worker's proneness to take childbearing decisions. We use a difference in difference (OLS-DID) model to control for possible period-invariant sorting bias and an instrumental variable (IV-DID) model to account for time-varying endogeneity of the treatment status. We find that reduced economic insecurity following a strengthening of the EPL regime has a positive and sizable effect on fertility decisions of Italian working women. This result is robust to a number of checks regarding possible interactions with other policy reforms occurring around 1990, changes in the sample of workers and firms, and use of an alternative set of exclusion restrictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Ervin Prifti & Daniela Vuri, 2012. "Employment Protection and Fertility: Evidence from the 1990 Italian Reform," CEIS Research Paper 236, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 15 Apr 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:236
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Leonardi & Giovanni Pica, 2013. "Who Pays for it? The Heterogeneous Wage Effects of Employment Protection Legislation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(12), pages 1236-1278, December.
    2. Adrián Nieto, 2018. "Permanent employment and fertility: The importance of job security and the career costs of childbearing," Discussion Papers 2018/01, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
    3. repec:dem:demres:v:39:y:2018:i:28 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Piotr Lewandowski & Iga Magda & Jan Baran & Olena Fedyuk & Attila Bartha, 2013. "Gender Dimensions of the Labour Markets over the Past Two Decades," IBS Working Papers 1/2013, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fertility; Employment protection; Difference-in-difference; Instrumental variables; Policy evaluations.;

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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