Grompone, Adele (2019) Essays on Economics and Institutions. [Tesi di dottorato]


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Item Type: Tesi di dottorato
Resource language: English
Title: Essays on Economics and Institutions
Date: 10 December 2019
Number of Pages: 101
Institution: Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
Department: Scienze Economiche e Statistiche
Dottorato: Economia
Ciclo di dottorato: 32
Coordinatore del Corso di dottorato:
Acconcia, AntonioUNSPECIFIED
Date: 10 December 2019
Number of Pages: 101
Keywords: culture; social capital; persistence; reversal of fortune; crime; institutional efficiency; turnout; long-term unemployment; triple difference estimator; employment subsidies; place-based policy; regional disparities
Settori scientifico-disciplinari del MIUR: Area 13 - Scienze economiche e statistiche > SECS-P/01 - Economia politica
Area 13 - Scienze economiche e statistiche > SECS-P/06 - Economia applicata
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2020 16:38
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2021 12:12

Collection description

The thesis is made of two chapters. The first one exploits an historical natural experiment set during Italy's Fascism to assess cultural persistence vs. dynamics in a paradigmatically critical area, Southern Italy, whose current economic backwardness is often associated to a low social capital endowment, in turn commonly ascribed to cultural and institutional heritage. In the experiment, an exogenous shift of a border into a territory entirely internal to that heritage provides us with an highlighting instrument able to identify weight of history and variation in culture in the 20th century in this doubly depressed region. A discontinuity exercise at the new border shows that, starting from previous homogeneity, there is evidence of relatively recent adverse cultural dynamics in Southern Italian territories. A comparison with an analogous exercise on the old, upper border tends to rule out classical institutional or contagion channels as individual and administrative behaviours used to be not better (mostly, worse) northwards. Their deterioration below the new border emerged endogenously in the period following the creation of Regions, contradicting previous legacy and giving rise to a relative reversal of cultural fortunes. The second chapter provides new evidence on the effectiveness of hiring subsidies that target the long-term unemployed, analysing a generous policy that was in force until the end of 2014 in Italy. Unlike others of its kind, this policy was particularly ambitious as it encouraged only permanent employment, which at the time still benefited from strong employment protection legislation. To achieve identification, we use a triple difference estimator, where we exploit three sources of variation: (i) the subsidy was only for the long-term unemployed and not for the short-term unemployed; (ii) it was significantly more generous in the South; (iii) it was in place until 2014. We find that the relative probability of eligible individuals in the southern regions of finding a permanent job dropped after the program terminated. This effect does not seem to be driven by substitutions over time, across contracts or among jobseekers. A cost-benefit analysis shows that the policy was globally in surplus.


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