Edited by Ramón Gómez-Salvador, Ana Lamo, Barbara Petrongolo, Melanie Ward and Etienne Wasmer
Chapter 6: Hiring Incentives and Labour Force Participation in Italy
6. Hiring incentives and labour force participation in Italy1 Piero Cipollone, Corrado Di Maria and Anita Guelﬁ2 INTRODUCTION A long-standing economic tradition maintains that labour supply is sensitive to the tightness of the labour market. Increases in labour demand are not fully and immediately reﬂected in declines in the number of unemployed because of the positive elasticity of supply to labour demand. This empirical regularity is in part a statistical artefact because not all job seekers are included in the unemployment pool as deﬁned by international standards. According to the generally accepted deﬁnition of unemployment, based on the ILO (1982) Resolution, a person is unemployed if, being above a speciﬁed age,3 he or she has no occupation in the reference period, is available to start to work and has actively looked for a job during the four weeks preceding the reference period. The ambiguity comes from the fact that many people might be willing to work but are not searching according to the ILO deﬁnition. Jones and Riddell (1999) have found that in Canada this group – which they call the ‘marginally attached’ – represents between 25 and 35 per cent of the unemployed. People belonging to this pool have a probability of transiting into employment which is lower than that of the unemployed, but much higher than that of those who do not want to work. Thus they constitute an intermediate category between job seekers and those who are out of the labour force....
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