Discussion Paper

No. 2018-13 | February 02, 2018
Labour contracts and stepping-stone effect in Italy: a multinomial analysis


Do short-term contracts facilitate the transition to permanent contracts? The authors use a rich administrative database for Italy to run a stepping stone analysis and evaluate which contractual agreements have more chances to lead to a permanent working position. They find that individual specific characteristics make it more likely for a worker to be employed with a specific contractual agreement and that the contribution toward more working stability varies with the previous contract. The authors conclude that fixed term positions act more as stumbling blocks than building blocks for open-ended contracts.

JEL Classification:

J20, J21, J41


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Cite As

Maria Giovanna Bosco and Elisa Valeriani (2018). Labour contracts and stepping-stone effect in Italy: a multinomial analysis. Economics Discussion Papers, No 2018-13, Kiel Institute for the World Economy. http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/discussionpapers/2018-13

Comments and Questions

Anonymous - Evaluation
February 03, 2018 - 12:40

I have two major concerns.

1/ This analysis is not state-of-the-art in a sense that it does not correct for unobserved heterogeneity, which is a huge issue in this context -- those in short-term contracts may differ from the overall population in factors such as ability and motivation. Why ...[more]

... don't the author follow the literature and run models that do correct for this issue? See the following studies. At least the authors should acknowledge this problem.

Baert, S., Cockx, B., Verhaest, D. (2013): Overeducation at the Start of the Career: Stepping Stone or Trap? Labour Economics, 25, 123-140.

van den Berg, G. J., Holm, A., van Ours, J. C. (2002): Do stepping-stone jobs exist? Early career paths in the medical profession, Journal of Population Economics, 15, 647-665.

2/ The study's literature review is very ad hoc and incomplete. It is very strange that the aforementioned study were not cite. I have the impression that the authors didn't put much effort in reading the literature.

Anonymous - Not really a stepping stone analysis
February 06, 2018 - 09:22

The topic of this study sounds interesting, but the analysis is not convincing. The choice of the control group is strange and probably not appropriate for analyzing stepping stone effects. It is also unclear whether the outcome variable is suitable for the analysis.