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The existing literature ignores the fact that in most European countries the strictness of Employment Protection Legislation (EPL) varies across the firm size distribution. In Italy firms are obliged to rehire an unfairly dismissed worker only if they employ more than 15 employees. Theoretically, the paper solves a baseline model of EPL with threshold effects, and shows that firms close to the threshold are characterized by an increase in inaction and by a reluctance to grow. Empirically, thedoi:10.2139/ssrn.472762 fatcat:q2zy5yxnsjbz5faciwfea5qun4