Oecd Economic Surveys: Italy 2004-2005 by Oecd Nuclear Energy Agency

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2. The analytics of productivity decline in a context of labour deepening A sharp deceleration of labour productivity has taken place over the past decade in association with a strong deterioration of Italian cost competitiveness. It is important to distinguish whether this poor productivity performance is mainly an endogenous result of recent labour market reforms themselves – notably during a transition period in which there is a shift of production toward more labour intensive activities and also as underground workers not fully captured by the statistics are bid into formal jobs, or by adverse cyclical effects, or whether there is a more fundamental problem.

EU: EU15 excluding Luxembourg in 1998. 2. Economic regulation includes all domestic regulatory provisions affecting private governance and product market competition such as state control and legal barriers to entry in competitive market. 3. Covers scope and size of public enterprise as well as the direct state control over business enterprise (via voting rights or legislative bodies). 4. Concerns the involvement of the state in business operations via price controls or the use of command and control regulation.

These would certainly be eased by faster growth. A stronger social safety net is also desirable, as budget conditions permit, but economic dynamism through comprehensive product, financial and labour market reforms must provide the main safety net. Reduction of labour market “dualism” by a gradual convergence of insider and outsider protections would also help, in addition to boosting productivity by allowing a better allocation of labour resources. Wage growth has been moderate and it would be important that it remain so in order to underpin the regaining of competitiveness.

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