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Firm Size Distribution and EPL in Italy

  • Fabiano Schivardi

    ()

  • Roberto Torrini

    ()

We study the role of employment protection legislation (EPL) in explaining the relative small average size of Italian firms. We construct a simple model that shows that the smooth relation between size and growth probability is disturbed in proximity of the thresholds at which EPL applies di.erentially. We use a comprehensive dataset of all Italian firms between 1986 and 1998 to estimate the e.ects of EPL in terms of discouraging small firms from growing. We then construct a stochastic transition matrix for firm size that, together with the estimates, allows for a quantitative evaluation of the e.ects of EPL in the long run. Our results show that EPL does influence firm size distribution, but that its e.ects are quantitatively modest: average firm size would increase by less than 1% when removing the threshold e.ect. In terms of policy, these findings suggest that changes in EPL are not likely to have a large impact on the propensity of small firms to grow

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Paper provided by William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in its series William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series with number 2003-613.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 01 Sep 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2003-613
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  1. Andrea Borgarello & Pietro Garibaldi & Lia Pacelli, 2003. "Employment Protection Legislation and the Size of Firms," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 23, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  2. David H. Autor & John J. Donohue & Stewart J. Schwab, 2006. "The Costs of Wrongful-Discharge Laws," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 211-231, May.
  3. Ichino, Andrea & Polo, Michele & Rettore, Enrico, 2001. "Are Judges Biased by Labour Market Conditions? The Selection of Firing Litigations for Trial in an Italian Firm," CEPR Discussion Papers 2804, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  5. Saint-Paul, G., 1995. "Employment Protection, International Specialization, and Innovation," DELTA Working Papers 95-31, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  6. Krishna B. Kumar & Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1999. "What Determines Firm Size?," NBER Working Papers 7208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bentolila, Samuel & Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad Is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402, July.
  8. Torrini, Roberto, 2005. "Cross-country differences in self-employment rates: the role of institutions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(5), pages 661-683, October.
  9. Ericson, Richard & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: A Framework for Empirical Work," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
  10. Eric Bartelsman & Stefano Scarpetta & Fabiano Schivardi, 2003. "Comparative Analysis of Firm Demographics and Survival: Micro-Level Evidence for the OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 348, OECD Publishing.
  11. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
  12. Fabiano Schivardi, 2000. "Rigidita nel mercato del lavoro, disoccupazione e crescita," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 59(1), pages 117-143, April.
  13. Patrizio Pagano & Fabiano Schivardi, 2003. "Firm Size Distribution and Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(2), pages 255-274, 06.
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