Job Market Paper

"Place-based industrial policies and local agglomeration in the long run" 


with S. Lattanzio (Bank of Italy)

Winner of the FBK-IRVAPP award for the Best Paper in Public Policy Evaluation

Media: Sole 24 Ore, Vox EU

This paper studies a large place-based industrial policy (PBIP) aimed at establishing industrial clusters in Italy in the 1960s and 1970s. Combining historical archives spanning one century with administrative data and leveraging exogenous variation in government intervention, we investigate both the immediate effects of PBIP and its long-term implications for local development. We find that the policy led to agglomeration of workers and firms in the targeted areas persisting well after its termination. By promoting high-technology manufacturing, PBIP boosted demand for business services and favored the emergence of a skilled local workforce. Over time, this shifted the local economy towards high-skill industries and produced a spillover from manufacturing -- the only sector targeted by the program -- to services employment. We document a stark rise in knowledge-intensive services, which contribute significantly to the long-lasting employment effects of PBIP. Cost-benefit analysis indicates that the policy generated net gains in the long run.

Published and forthcoming papers

"Government transfers and votes for state intervention" 


with G. Albanese (Bank of Italy) and G. de Blasio (Bank of Italy) 

Forthcoming at American Economic Journal: Economic Policy

Media: Vox EU

Government transfers might have long-lasting consequences on electoral outcomes. We study a regional policy implemented in Italy over the second half of the twentieth century and leverage variation in transfers to show that parties promoting more state intervention in the economy performed better in the targeted areas relative to places that were not subsidized, decades after the end of the policy. This effect does not seem to mirror long-term differences in the economic performance of treated and control areas, which were small, nor other attitudes within the electorate.

Working papers

"Opting out of centralized collective bargaining: evidence from Italy"

with C. Dustmann (UCL), C. Giannetto (UCL), C. Lacava (Frankfurt), V. Pezone (Tilburg), R. Saggio (UBC) and B. Schoefer (Berkeley)

Access to Italian social security data through the Visitinps program

This paper assesses the effects of opting out of centralized collective bargaining agreements on workers and firms. We study two opting-out events that occurred in Italy, a country with very rigid industrial relations. In the first event, firms left centralized collective bargaining agreements to reach agreements with smaller and often local unions. In the second event, a group of large employers decided to abandon their collective bargaining agreement in order to re-negotiate a new one with national unions. Drawing on a matched event-study design, we find evidence that workers experiencing opt-outs from centralized collective bargaining agreements suffer wage losses but have higher employment stability and higher earnings. Opting-out firms lower their labor costs and increase their survival probabilities.

Work in progress

"Hiring subsidies and female employment


with M. Distefano (LSE) and A. Raute (QMUL)

Awarded the Visitinps Fellowship (2020), granting access to Italian social security data

This paper studies the effects of a hiring subsidy introduced in Italy in 2013 with the goal of stimulating female employment. We employ a staggered event-study design to investigate the dynamic effect of the subsidy on firm and worker outcomes, focusing in particular on hiring decisions. Results show that i) subsidized hires are more likely to remain employed at the firm in the long term, ii) firms that use the subsidy hire women with longer non-employment spells, including mothers and iii) subsidized hires are positively selected compared to the average hire at the firm. We argue that the subsidy could operate as a mechanism allowing firms to learn about the potential productivity of these female workers.

"The effects of salary caps for public managers: Evidence from Italy"

with E. Di Porto (INPS and Naples), C. Dustmann (UCL) and C. Giannetto (UCL)

Access to Italian social security data through the Visitinps program

This paper explores how wage caps for public sector managers affect their career trajectories and manager selection into public employment. We study a wage cap introduced in Italy in 2014 leveraging matched employer-employee data for public employees and an event study design. Public managers affected by the cap are more likely to leave their employer and move to a private sector job. Managers moving to the private sector are on average more productive than those who stay in the public sector. The co-workers of leaving managers are also more likely to leave public employment. We estimate that the reform led to a drop in the productivity of public management of 10 percent of a standard deviation, while reducing the costs of public employment by 0.1 percent.

Policy work

"The Labour Market Implications of More Flexible Collective Bargaining", with C. Dustmann and C. Giannetto. Featured in INPS XXII Annual Report, September 2023.

"Can a cut to payroll taxes decrease the gender gap? The experience of the Bonus Donne", with A. Raute. Featured in INPS XXI Annual Report, July 2022.

"Demography and entrepreneurship in Italy, 1961-2011", with F. Barbiellini Amidei, M. Gomellini and P. Piselli. Featured in Il divario Nord-Sud: sviluppo economico e intervento pubblico, Bank of Italy, June 2022.

"The age-productivity profile: long-run evidence from Italian regions", with F. Barbiellini Amidei, M. Gomellini and P. Piselli.