LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYMENT AND SUBSIDIES FOR PERMANENT EMPLOYMENT
We provide 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.