This research project fits the broad framework of the
increasing attention devoted in the literature on labour
market to dynamic analyses of labour at the micro level. It
builds on previous research supported by grants from MURST (a
project financed in 1997, on "Labour supply and unemployment:
issues of measurement and analysis", and an ongoing project on
"Employment and unemployment in Italy: measurement issues and
behavioural analyses"), with U. Trivellato as project leader.
The RUs of Padova, Siena, Torino and Venezia were involved in
the ongoing project. The distinct feature of the present
project is its focus on
- aspects of mobility and dynamics in labour force
participation and in the patterns of work and on
- exercises of impact evaluation of selected labour market
programmes. It includes the new RU of Piemonte Orientale.
In the following we place the programme in the relevant
scientific background, mainly as regards the previous
experience of the members of the research team. References to
the broader literature, on the four topics we plan to deal
with, are kept to the bare essentials.
U. Trivellato, project leader, has been working on
issues of measurement and analysis of the Italian labour
market since the middle of the '80s. He and other researchers,
most of them members of the team of this project, went on with
their research on labour market issues focusing on
unemployment and its dynamics (flows and durations). Various
contributions, both methodological and empirical, on the
labour market attachment of not-employed people and on
unemployment dynamics appeared in several well-known journals
("Economia & Lavoro", "European Economic Review", "Journal of
Econometrics", "Labour", "Quality & Quantity", "Statistica", "Survey
Methodology"). See the papers by Rettore and/or Torelli and/or
Trivellato for the years from 1989 to 1998. With the research
project on "Labour supply and unemployment: issues of
measurement and analysis", co-financed by MURST (from 1997),
the research interests of the team widened somewhat, chiefly
in three directions.
- They began an exploration of the opportunities for
labour market analysis provided by administrative databases,
chiefly by Netlabor, a database resulting from the
administrative process in the state-driven Labour Exchanges.
- They extended dynamic analyses to the entire set of
labour force gross flows and to the relationships between
(un)employment and living conditions (chiefly poverty).
- They started a quite new stream of research: monitoring
and evaluation of labour market programmes, with attention
both to methodological issues and applications.
B. Contini, responsible for the RU of Torino,
has worked since the '80s on the development and scientific
utilisation of large longitudinal panels originating from
administrative sources. The applications have ranged on
numerous issues related to the dynamics of Italy's labour
market. He and the late R. Revelli developed the design and
prototype of the INPS (the national Social Security [SS]
institute) Observatory on Firms, Employment and Wages. He has
co-authored (with R. Revelli) the first studies on industrial
demography in Italy and many theoretical and empirical papers
on the dynamics of labour market flows. See chiefly Contini
and Revelli (1992). Contini has directed, during the two
programs co-financed by MURST (1997 and 1999) just mentioned,
the development of a linked employer-employee longitudinal
dataset based on SS data, a data source for many empirical
analyses by the Torino group.
G. Tattara and the RU of Venezia have done
substantial research work on the characteristics of the system
of industrial districts in the Veneto region and, more
recently, on worker mobility in the same region, using SS data
(see Occari, Tattara and Volpe, 1997, and Tattara, 2001).
The members of the RU of Siena, directed by A.
Lemmi, in the recent past and more intensively in the last
two years have focused their scientific interests on the
issues of individual behaviour in the labour market, moving
from studies mainly devoted to the measurement of poverty and
living conditions (see the papers by Betti and/or Cheli and/or
The RU of Piemonte Orientale is directed by A.
Martini, who has a remarkable research experience in the
area of social policy evaluation. From 1988 to 1998, he has
been Research Economist at Mathematica Policy Research and
then Senior Research Associate at the Urban Institute,
Washington, DC, where he has been responsible for various
research contracts on US social policies, especially on impact
evaluation of social and labour market policies (see Martini,
1993 and 1997, and Martini and Trivellato, 1997). A high
academic training on the evaluation of industrial policies,
documented by a Ph.D., characterises the curriculum and
research interests of the other member of the RU, D. Bondonio.
As regards the four topics of our project, outlined in
section 2.1, we give now some very brief references to the
literature relevant to our purposes.
- THE MEASUREMENT OF LABOUR MARKET ATTACHMENT AND MOBILITY.
On measures of labour market attachment based on gross flows
and durations, two important references are Flinn and
Heckman (1983) and Jones and Riddell (1999). For the
analysis of labour mobility and worker turnover, see
Blanchard e Diamond (1990), Schettkat (1996) and Davis,
Haltiwanger and Shuh (1999).
- THE DYNAMICS OF PATTERNS OF WORK. In addition to the
relevant contributions of members of the research teams of
Padova, Torino and Venezia, see Biffl (1997) on immigration
and Autori Vari (1998) for many empirical analyses based on
linked employer-employee data.
- DYNAMIC RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN LIVING CONDITIONS AND WORK
PARTICIPATION. Recent empirical studies on the dynamics of
poverty include Jarvis and Jenkins (1997), Hills (1998) and
Antolin, Dang and Oxley (1999). On statistical methods and
models, a basic books is Mátyás and Sevestre (1996); see
further the seminal, still very important papers by Heckman
(1981a) and (1981b).
- IMPACT EVALUATION OF SELECTED LABOUR MARKET PROGRAMMES.
The state of the art is summarised in the monographs by
Manski (1995) and Rosenbaum (1995) and in the extensive
review paper by Heckman, Lalonde and Smith (1999). For the
evaluation of industrial policies at regional levels, see
Bondonio and Engberg (2000).