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Job Training, Remote Working, and Self-Employment: Displaced Workers Beyond Employment Hysteresis

Chiara Natalie Focacci and Enrico Santarelli

The recent SARS-Cov-2 pandemic has contributed to several corporate crises. As a result, many Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Italy have filed for bankruptcy in the first quarter of 2020. In addition to a gigantic macroeconomic effect, the lockdown has impacted individuals to a large ex- tent. In this article, we investigate the behavioural response of employees who are under a dual condition of stress; namely, the pandemic and the risk of job loss. The hypothesis of employment hysteresis is challenged by looking at the tendency of individuals who are employed in firms facing a crisis, or in diffi- culty, to participate in training measures for: a similar job, remote working, and self-employment. Findings from a seemingly unrelated regressions (SUR) model show a significant increase in the likelihood to participate in standard or high-commitment training measures for similar jobs and remote working for employees who: i) positively value their professional social capital, i.e. their membership in a trade union (+24.4 and +25.2 percentage points, respectively); ii) have some displaced colleagues (+29.6 and +40.7 percentage points, respec- tively). Finally, we find that employees with a lower educational background are less likely to consider the possibility of switching between occupations.

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